At Canele in Atwater Village, chef Corina Weibel serves a perfectly-seared snapper fillet perched atop a striking, delicious pile of vegetables and house-made croutons -- a bread salad of sorts. It recently caught the attention of staff writer Amy Scattergood. Each fillet is seasoned with fresh herbs and lemon and orange zest. The “salad” is a vibrant display of grilled sweet Italian peppers tossed with cracked Picholine olives, cherry tomatoes, parsley, shallots and those crispy croutons, finished with a drizzle of good olive oil and red wine vinegar.
Combine the fish, thyme, chopped parsley, lemon and orange zests in a shallow nonreactive pan and rub the seasonings over the fish. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate to marinate for at least 1 hour, up to overnight.
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. In a medium saute pan, add 2 teaspoons of oil and saute the peppers over medium heat until tender, 8 to 10 minutes, shaking occasionally. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Remove the fish from the refrigerator; do not bother to shake off the marinade. Season each fillet with one-eighth teaspoon salt and a pinch of pepper, or to taste.
Heat a large oven-proof skillet over high heat until hot and add 2 teaspoons olive oil. Sear the fish skin-side down for 2 to 3 minutes until the skin is crispy, then flip each fillet over and place the pan in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes until cooked through.
While the fish is cooking, combine in a medium bowl the cooled peppers, tomatoes, olives, croutons, parsley leaves and shallots. Drizzle in the red wine vinegar and olive oil and toss together as a salad. Season to taste with salt.
Distribute the salad evenly in a small mound on each plate. Place 1 filet on top of each mound, and drizzle each filet with a squeeze of lemon juice and a light drizzle of best-quality olive oil. Serve immediately.
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