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Pan-Seared Arctic Char with Olives and Potatoes

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Serves 4

  • by Jay Weinstein from Fine Cooking
    Issue 101

Looking for a fish you can feel good about eating? Arctic char is a fast-reproducing fish that is a good, sustainable alternative to Atlantic salmon, which it resembles in flavor and texture.

  • 4 small red potatoes (about 3/4 lb.), sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 skin-on arctic char fillets (about 5 oz. each), scaled
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, each about 3 inches long
  • 1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives
  • 3 Tbs. roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
  • 4 lemon wedges

In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring the potatoes to a boil in enough salted water to cover them by 1 inch. Reduce the heat to a brisk simmer and cook until tender but not falling apart, about 5 minutes. Drain. Set aside.

Pat the fish dry and season with 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Heat 1-1/2 Tbs. of the olive oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Arrange the fish skin side down in the pan so the fillets fit without touching. Cook undisturbed for 3 minutes. Flip the fillets and cook until the fish is cooked through, an additional 2 to 3 minutes. With a slotted spatula, transfer the fish to a serving platter or plates.

Add the remaining 1-1/2 Tbs. oil to the pan and heat until shimmering. Add the potatoes and rosemary and cook, flipping occasionally, until the potatoes are tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the olives, parsley, balsamic, and a pinch of salt and pepper and stir gently to heat. Arrange the potato mixture around the fish. Serve garnished with the lemon wedges.

Serving Suggestions

Serve with Frisée and Grape Salad with Verjus and Blue Cheese.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 390; Fat (g): 21; Fat Calories (kcal): 190; Saturated Fat (g): 2; Protein (g): 33; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 11; Carbohydrates (g): 17; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1.5; Sodium (mg): 540; Cholesterol (mg): 0; Fiber (g): 2;

Photo: Scott Phillips

Very delicious & easy. It was a great intro to char for us - my almost 5-year-old sons gobbled it up. It will be a mainstay in my menu rotation.

This was fantastic! I'll be making the potato and olive saute frequently as it would pair with many things. My market was out of char, but had some beautiful golden trout that was an excellent substitute. Served with steamed haricots verts and a beaujolais noveau. Husband and I had a very special dinner. Thanks FC!

Ok Not great. Followed the recipe exactly, only ok. Won't do it again.

Couldn't find char either, so I used salmon and fingerling potatoes. Pretty good, but after the black cod recipe, it's going to be tough to beat!

This recipe is awesome! Great flavors and ease of preparation, the hallmarks of a good Fine Cooking recipe. I will definitely be making this often.

This dish is outstanding. I have to quadruple the amount of potatoes, because my family can't seem to get enough of them.

I also subbed salmon, but I will definitely try this again with arctic char. So easy and delicious.

Excellent, of course how could it not be with the olives and rosemary. Couldn't find char, so used salmon. Yum.

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