Giada De Laurentiis' pan-seared branzino with tomato and capers


  • Makes2 to 4 servings
Giada De Laurentiis' pan-seared branzino with tomato and capers

This is the fastest fish dish you will ever make and my first choice when I have friends coming over for a quick weeknight get-together. It’s super colourful and impressive, with the flavours of Positano in every bite. This will serve four if you have a first course or are eating lighter; otherwise, serve two fillets per person.


  • 4 skin-on fillets of branzino

  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt

  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered

  • 2 tbsp capers, drained and rinsed

  • 1/2 cup pitted nicoise olives, halved

  • 3 tbsp dry white wine

  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter

  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Pat the branzino fillets very dry with paper towels and check to make sure there are no small bones remaining in the flesh. Score the skin side of the fish with a sharp knife by making 3 shallow cuts on a slight diagonal on each fillet. Season the fillets evenly on all sides with the salt.

  • Pour the olive oil in the hot pan. Place the fillets in the pan, skin- side down. Press gently on each fillet to make sure the skin has full contact with the hot pan. Allow the fish to cook undisturbed for 3 minutes. Using a fish spatula, gently flip each fillet and cook for another 30 seconds on the flesh side. Remove the branzino to a platter, skin-side up, and keep warm.

  • To the hot pan, add the tomatoes, capers, and olives. Cook for 1 minute, stirring often with a wooden spoon. Add the white wine, reduce the heat to medium, and cook for an additional 2 minutes to reduce the wine by half. Add the butter and parsley, swirling the pan to incorporate the butter as it melts. Spoon the sauce over the branzino and serve.

Excerpted from Giada’s Italy: My Recipes for La Dolce Vita by Giada de Laurentiis. Copyright © 2018 by GDL Foods Inc. Published in the United States by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC, New York. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.