Italian Sweet-And-Sour Fish With Raisins And Pine Nuts
Jewish Food: The World at Table by Matthew Goodman
The Italian cookbooks that have survived from the Middle Ages feature a vast collection of sweet-and-sour combinations, including some recipes in which the sourness of vinegar is balanced by the sweetness of ground prunes and dates. More often, though, vinegar was paired simply with sugar or with both sugar and raisins, as in this preparation, a modern version of an Italian medieval Jewish standard. (The use of raisins and pine nuts indicates its Sicilian, and before that Arab, origins.) In Italy, the fish called triglie (red mullet) is generally used, but mullet is difficult to find in the United States. Red snapper makes an excellent alternative. Among Italian Jews, this dish is often served to break the Yom Kippur fast, and it's the one I use for that purpose.
· 1/2 cup pine nuts
· 1/2 cup raisins
· 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
· 5 tablespoons olive oil
· 2 tablespoons sugar
· 1/2 teaspoon salt
· Freshly ground black pepper
· 1½ pounds red snapper fillets, with skin on
· 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1. In a small diy skillet, toast the pine nuts over low heat, stirring, until lightly golden. Place in a medium bowl. Add the raisins, vinegar, 4 tablespoons of the oil, and the sugar and stir to combine. Season with the salt and pepper. Set aside.
2. Rinse the fish and pat it dry. Season with salt and pepper. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the fish, flesh side down, and cook for 3 minutes. Turn the fish and add the sweet-and-sour mixture to the pan. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer until the fish is opaque and flakes easily, about 10 minutes. Transfer the fish to a large serving platter and pour the sauce over it, then sprinkle with the parsley.