Fish with Escarole, Olives & Capers


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Limoncello and Linen Water

Limoncello and Linen Water

By Tessa Kiros

Published 2012

  • About

The escarole is also great to serve with Il bollito. Try to get a compact escarole that looks like it has been to a neat hairdresser, rather than a wild one.


  • 1 whole escarole (curly endive/chicory), about 560 g (1 lb 4¼ oz)
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra, for serving
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and squashed with the flat of a knife
  • 3 anchovy fillets, drained
  • 1 heaped tablespoon small capers in vinegar, drained
  • about 12 black olives (taggiasche are good)
  • about 3 tablespoons flour
  • 4 firm white fish fillets, about 170 g (5¾ oz) each
  • 4 sage leaves
  • about 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) white wine


Rinse the escarole and trim away the bottom. Divide in half lengthways and then in half crossways, so you have nice thick chunks. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan with 1 garlic clove and the anchovies, mashing these in with a wooden spoon until they break up and melt into the oil. Add the escarole and cook until wilted, turning it with a pair of tongs so it picks up the flavours in the pan. Add the capers and olives, and season with pepper and a little salt (remember you have anchovies in the sauce). Cook, stirring, on a good heat until much of the water from the escarole has evaporated and you have a thick, chunky heap in the pan, not soggy. Taste for seasoning, remove to a dish and keep warm.

Wipe out the pan with paper towels, then heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Pat a little flour over both sides of the fish, shaking off the excess. Fry the fish until golden underneath. Turn them over using tongs, add the sage and remaining garlic and fry until the fish is golden underneath once more. Season with salt and pepper and add the wine to the pan. Cook until the wine has mostly evaporated, then scatter the parsley over.

Serve on a heap of escarole, drizzled with a little extra olive oil and seasoned with lots of black pepper.