Branzino, also known as European sea bass, has a mild, almost sweet flavor that wins a lot of diners over—even those who are just wading into the seafood realm. Here it is seared with the skin on and plated with red beets and other hearty flavors that bring out its natural good taste.
- To make the tapenade, combine the olives, garlic, shallots, parsley and one tablespoon of olive oil in a blender and process until the mixture still has some texture.
- To cook the branzino, season the fillets on both sides with salt and pepper. In a sauté pan, heat the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat.
- Add the branzino, skin-side down, and cook for about five minutes, pressing lightly on the fish to crisp the skin. Flip the fish and cook for 2 minutes longer.
- To serve, first plate the sliced beets. Set the fish on top of the beets and place the tapenade on the side. Drizzle with the Champagne vinaigrette and garnish with mâche and crumbled pistachios.