Pan Seared Branzino for Black History Month

By Staff |

Recipe by ROSIE PENA

Red Rooster Sous Chef Rosie Peña created this dish as part of Red Rooster’s menu for Black History Month honoring inspiring women chefs of color. The flavors are inspired by her roots in the Dominican Republic and her love for French Cooking.

Prep Details

Servings: 4



4 - 6 ounce filet of branzino, skin on

2 ounces coconut oil (or similar neutral oil with high smoke point)

1 ounce butter, cubed

1 sprig Thyme


½ head of escarole, rinsed and chopped

5 ounces butter, cubed

8 ounces chicken stock

1 teaspoon (1/2 ounce) garlic, chopped

1 small Spanish onion, thinly sliced

1 teaspoon Salt

½ teaspoon Pepper


4 ounces Kewpie mayonnaise

8 ounces blood orange juice from about 4 oranges

4 tablespoons (2 oz.) peppadew peppers, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste


1 blood orange, supreme (cut into segments)

4 tablespoons (2 oz.) Peppadew Peppers, quartered

1/3 cup fresh herbs, such as oregano, mint, parsley, and cilantro

1 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon olive oil


  1. FOR THE BRANZINO: Place the branzino skin side down on a dry towel, and season the flesh side of the filet with salt and pepper.
  2. Place a skillet over high heat for 2-3 minutes until scorching hot. Add the oil, carefully placing the branzino skin side down into the hot skillet. Press gently with a fish spatula until the branzino is seared on the skin side. Turn the heat down to medium, and add the cold butter and thyme. Flip the fish over and let it cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat and transfer to a drip pan to let it rest.
  3. Repeat with remaining filets
  4. FOR THE ESCAROLE: Melt the butter in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the chopped garlic and sliced onions, stirring until fragrant but not brown. Add the chopped escarole and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Once the escarole starts to wilt, add the chicken stock and cook until the stock reduces and the escarole is tender.
  6. FOR THE BLOOD ORANGE AIOLI: In a small sauce pan, reduce the blood orange juice by half. Once reduced, transfer to a blender. Add the peppadew peppers and the mayonnaise, and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. FOR THE PEPPER-CITRUS SALAD: In a small bowl, mix all of the ingredients together until you have a flavorful salad garnish. Use salt and pepper to adjust seasoning.
  8. TO SERVE: On a flat round plate, place a large spoonful of the cooked escarole, followed by the pan seared Branzino. Add a teaspoon of the blood orange aioli to a corner of the fish, and gently layer the Peppadew and Citrus herb salad over the aioli.