Pan-Seared Black Cod with Grape Salsa

Ben Towill hand-crushes grapes for this fresh salsa, but pureeing some of them in a food processor works equally well. Grapes may seem like an unlikely partner for fish, but they're very good with silky black cod fillets.

Pan-Seared Black Cod with Grape Salsa
Photo: © Michael Turek
Total Time:
40 mins


  • 2 pounds red or black seedless grapes, 1 pound quartered

  • 2 scallions, finely chopped

  • 2 small garlic cloves, minced

  • 1/2 fresh red chile, such as Fresno, seeded and minced

  • 1/2 fresh green chile, such as serrano or jalapeño, seeded and minced

  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha chile sauce

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • Ten 4- to 5-ounce skinless black cod fillets (also known as sablefish)

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a food processor, puree the whole grapes. Pass the puree through a coarse sieve into a large bowl. Add the quartered grapes, scallions, garlic, chiles and Sriracha to the bowl and toss.

  2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of oil until shimmering. Season half of the fillets with salt and pepper and add them to the skillet, skinned side up. Cook over high heat until the fillets are golden brown on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Transfer the fillets to a rimmed baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining oil and fillets. Transfer the fish to the oven and cook until just white throughout.

  3. Add the cilantro and vinegar to the grape salsa and season with salt. Transfer the fish to plates; spoon the salsa on top and serve.

Make Ahead

The salsa can stand at room temperature for up to 2 hours. The seared fish can be kept on the baking sheet for up to 30 minutes. Finish in the oven before serving.

Suggested Pairing

Peach-inflected southern French white.

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