The Spanish flavors of Spanish Barramundi With Chard Cannelini and Tomatoes - olive oil, garlic, smoked paprika, sherry vinegar, tomatoes, and parsley - come together quickly in this healthy, flavorful fish dish! The crispy, crunch of the fish provides a great textural contrast to the tender vegetables and cannelini beans.
Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking if God had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity.
Tamara Talks (about Voltaire and breading fish)
Voltaire was a very wise man. 🙂 Unfortunately, too many people don't see eating and drinking in quite the same manner...
My Spanish Barramundi With Chard Cannelini and Tomatoes is a pleasure, and is quick and easy enough for a weeknight supper. I must qualify that statement, though. The breading process is always messy, so if you hate clean up when you're exhausted from your day, save it for when you have more time and energy!
In creating this dish, I once again relied on my knowledge of flavor profiles. The Spanish flavor profile includes, but is not limited to, olive oil, garlic, onion, smoked paprika, sherry vinegar, parsley, and tomatoes.
This combination is one of my favorites, and Mediterranean cooking is among the world's healthiest cuisines. I also utilized my well-stocked pantry, so a quick trip to the market for a bunch of beautiful rainbow chard and some grape tomatoes is all I needed to complete the dish!
I keep firm, white barramundi fillets in my freezer (see recipe notes on defrosting fish), cannelini beans, sherry vinegar, shallots, panko, etc. in my well-stocked pantry. A well-stocked pantry is such a help in preparing healthy, quick meals at the end of a long day at the office. If you haven't downloaded a copy of my customizable pantry checklist, and would like to, click My Pantry Checklist...
How to Make Spanish Barramundi With Chard Cannelini and Tomatoes
So, on to the process of making this delicious dish... Gather your ingredients. If you've not defrosted the fish, you will want to get it into a vessel and get that process started first. I usually forget to put my barramundi into the refrigerator in advance, so I need to quick thaw my frozen fish day of!
You will need 2 good-sized sauté pans, and 2 shallow bowls for breading the fish. Prep work is always important, but especially when you want to get it done in a timely manner.
- barramundi fillets (or similar)
- 1 egg
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
- 2 tsp hot or mild smoked paprika
- 1 tsp thyme leaves
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp salt
- several grinds of pepper
- ¼-1/2 cup canola oil for shallow frying
Cannelini and Chard Ingredients
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ¼ cup shallots or red onion
- 1 tsp garlic minced
- ½ tsp crushed red pepper
- 1 pint tiny tomatoes such as Cherub
- 1 large bunch swiss chard rinsed well and stem ends trimmed
- 1 can cannelini beans, rinsed and drained
- ¾ cup chicken or seafood broth
- 2 tbsp sherry vinegar
- sea salt and fresh ground pepper
Important: When the fish is thawed, pat it dry, and set it aside until time to bread and fry it. In the meantime, prepare the cannelini and chard part of the recipe. It will simmer gently while you pan-fry the fish.
Sauté the tomatoes, chard stems, shallot, crushed red pepper saute in olive oil until tomatoes burst...
Add to the pan the chard leaves, cannelini, broth, and sherry vinegar...
Crispy fish fillets take only a few minutes to shallow-fry, then top the cannelini and chard mixture with a fish fillet and serve!
Tips and FAQ
I can't get barramundi. What else can I use? I love barramundi because it is a sustainable fishery, and it's flaky white flesh works well in many of my favorite dishes like healthy Mexican fish and seafood soup. However, I have used Atlantic cod and tilapia as well. Use your favorite mild, firm, flaky white fish!
Can I substitute other vegetables? Yes. Kale works very well in this dish. Cut the ribs away before adding to the pan. Cooking time should be about the same.
Do I have to use canned beans? No. I make large batches of beans in my Instant Pot, and often have them in my freezer cooked and ready to go. Great northerns and navy beans are good substitutions.
What can I pair with Spanish Barramundi?
We love a dry Spanish rosé with this dish, but they can be hard to find. Any dry, crisp white or rosé should pair well; sauvignon blanc would be a nice choice. Enjoy the pleasure of this food and drink on your patio on a lovely evening, and remember Voltaire when you do... 😉