Caponata-Style Escarole and Cod

Alfonso Iaccarino makes rustic peasant dishes like this for his staff every day at lunch so that they become familiar with the typical foods of the region. Amazing Seafood Recipes

Caponata-Style Escarole and Cod
Photo: © Luca Trovato


  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • All-purpose flour

  • 3/4 pound skinless fresh cod or other firm white fish fillets

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 3 garlic cloves

  • 1 large head of escarole (about 1 1/2 pounds), cored and coarsely chopped (about 10 cups)

  • 10 anchovies (about 3 ounces), drained and coarsely chopped

  • 10 oil-cured black olives, halved and pitted

  • 2 tablespoons salted capers, well rinsed

  • 1 1/2 pounds tomatoes—peeled, halved, seeded and coarsely chopped

  • Flat-leaf parsley leaves, for garnish


  1. Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a large enameled cast-iron casserole. Lightly flour the fish and season with salt and pepper. Cook over moderate heat until lightly browned and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the fish. Transfer the fish to a platter.

  2. Add the garlic to the oil and cook over moderate heat until deep golden, about 2 minutes; discard the garlic. Add the escarole to the casserole along with the anchovies, olives and capers. Cook, stirring constantly, until the escarole turns bright green and wilts, about 3 minutes. Transfer the escarole to a bowl.

  3. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in the casserole. Add the tomatoes and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato sauce to the escarole and season with salt and pepper. Garnish with parsley and serve with the fish.

Make Ahead

The recipe can stand at room temperature, covered, for up to 2 hours before serving.

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