Grilled Orata with Cauliflower, Fregola, and Persimmon-Pomegranate Salsa

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To learn more, read In the Kitchen With: Suzanne Goin in our National edition.

Grilled Orata with Cauliflower, Fregola, and Persimmon-Pomegranate Salsa

Recipe adapted from Suzanne Goin, The A.O.C Cookbook

Yield: 6 servings

Prep Time: 45 minutes (plus 4 hours for marinating)

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes (plus 4 hours for marinating)



6 fillets orata or dorade (5 to 6 ounces each), skin on

1 tablespoon grated lemon zest

1 tablespoon thyme leaves

2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

1½ cups fregola sarda (Italian couscous)

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup cooked chickpeas

2 tablespoons sliced cilantro leaves

2 ounces mizuna

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Curried cauliflower

½ medium sized head of cauliflower, cored and cut into florets

½ small yellow onion peeled, cored and cut into thirds

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

Scant ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

A few turns of a pepper mill

⅛ teaspoon coriander, toasted and ground

⅛ teaspoon cumin seed, toasted and ground

½ teaspoon curry powder

¾ teaspoon bittersweet paprika

2¼ teaspoons red wine vinegar

½ tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

Persimmon-pomegranate salsa

3 tablespoons finely diced shallots

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, or more as needed

1½ tablespoons pomegranate molasses

⅔ cup extra-virgin olive oil

½ cup pomegranate seeds

½ cup diced, peeled ripe persimmon

2 tablespoons sliced cilantro leaves

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper



1. Make the fish: Season the fish with the zest, thyme and parsley. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

2. Meanwhile, make the curried cauliflower: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Combine the cauliflower and onion, being sure to separate all the "petals" of the onion. Add the olive oil and melted butter, and toss to coat. Combine the salt, pepper and spices in a small bowl, and sprinkle them evenly over the cauliflower mix. Add the vinegar and toss well to combine. Put the cauliflower in a baking dish big enough to hold all the cauliflower in a single layer. Bake, uncovered for 25 to 35 minutes, or until tender, stirring the cauliflower every 5 to 7 minutes to assure even browning. Stir in the chopped cilantro and roughly chop. Set aside.

3. Make the persimmon-pomegranate salsa: Place the shallots, lemon juice, and ¼ teaspoon salt in a small bowl, and let sit 5 minutes. Whisk in the pomegranate molasses and then the olive oil. Stir in the pomegranate seeds, persimmon, a few grinds of pepper and the cilantro. Taste for balance and seasoning, adding a little more salt and lemon, if needed. Set aside.

4. To finish the dish: Heat a charcoal grill or set a gas grill to high. Bring a pot of heavily salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the fregola and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until tender but still al dente. Drain the fregola, and cool on a baking sheet.

5. Heat a large sauté pan over high heat for 2 minutes. Swirl in 2 tablespoons olive oil, and add the fregola, ¼ teaspoon salt and a few grindings of pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, scraping the bottom of the pan as the fregola starts to crisp. Stir in the chickpeas and the curried cauliflower, and cook for another 4 to 5 minutes, stirring often to combine well and heat all the ingredients through. Keep warm.

6. Brush the orata with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Place the fish on the grill skin-side down, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, rotating the fish once after a couple of minutes to get the skin crispy. Turn the

fish over, and cook for a few minutes on the other side. Be careful not to overcook the orata. When it's done, the fish will begin to flake and separate a little, and the center will be slightly translucent. Remember, the orata will continue to cook a little more once you take it off the grill.

7. Stir the cilantro into the fregola, and taste for balance and seasoning. Spoon onto the center of six large dinner plates. Tuck a few leaves of mizuna into the fregola, and place the orata on top. Spoon the persimmon-pomegranate salsa over the fish and around the plate. Serve immediately.

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