Spanish flavors – 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.
Voltaire was a very wise man. 🙂 Unfortunately, too many people don’t see eating and drinking in quite the same manner… My Spanish Fish With Chard, Cannelini, & 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 fish 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…
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 the process started first. 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. 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.
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… 😉
Spanish Fish With Chard, Cannelini, & Tomatoes
The Chard, Cannelini, & Tomatoes
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 cup shallots or red onion, finely chopped
- 1 tsp garlic minced
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
- 1 pint tiny tomatoes such as Cherub
- 1 large bunch swiss chard rinsed well and stem ends trimmed
- 2 cans cannelini beans rinsed and drained
- 3/4 cup chicken broth
- 2 tbsp sherry vinegar
- sea salt and fresh ground pepper
- 4 fish fillets patted dry*
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
- 2 tsp hot or mild smoked paprika
- 1 tsp thyme leaves
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp salt
- several grinds of pepper
- 1/4-1/2 cup canola oil for frying
- chopped parsley
The Chard, Cannelini, & Tomatoes
Add olive oil to a large sauce or saute pan (with a lid) over medium-high heat. Add the shallots or red onion, garlic, crushed red pepper, and tiny tomatoes. Cook stirring occasionally until the tomatoes burst. Be careful to not burn the garlic!
While the tomatoes cook, prep the chard by cutting the stems from the leaves portion. Slice the stems about 1/4" thick, and add to the tomatoes mixture. Continue to stir occasionally while you rough chop the chard leaves.
Add chard leaves to the pan along with cannelini and chicken broth. Stir and replace lid. Lower heat to a gentle simmer.
While chard and cannelini simmer, prep the fish.
To one shallow bowl, add the egg and buttermilk. Whisk together vigorously.
To the other shallow bowl, add the Panko, paprika, thyme, garlic and onion powders, salt, and pepper. Stir well to combine.
To the saute or fry pan, add the oil for frying (amount depends on the size of your pan and fish fillets). I go with as little as possible. Heat oil to smoking hot to keep the fish from absorbing much of the oil.
Dip a fish fillet in the egg/buttermilk mixture until well-coated. Press both sides into the bread crumbs mixture. Add to the pan. Repeat with remaining fillets.
Thin fillets require only a minute or two per side. When the fish begins to look opaque on the edges and the crumbs are golden brown, turn the fish.
When both sides are golden brown, remove the fish carefully to a platter so as to not ruin the lovely breading.
Add the sherry vinegar and salt and pepper to the chard and cannelini mixture. Stir gently to combine. Check the seasoning and adjust if necessary. This is such an important part of good cooking!
Divide the cannelini, chard, and tomatoes among 4 plates. Top with a fish fillet.
Sprinkle with chopped parsley. Enjoy!
Any firm white fish works well in this recipe - tilapia, swai, flounder, cod, bass, etc.
If you need to thaw the fish quickly, place the fish in a pot of cold water. If fillets are thin, you can just let them sit in the still water. If they're thick, you'll need to run water over them to get them thawed. The best method is overnight in the refrigerator.
Smoked paprika comes in "hot" or "mild." It has a very different flavor than paprika, and is a very important flavor note in this recipe. We love spicy food, so I typically use the "hot" smoked paprika.
Crushed red pepper can be varied to taste or omitted entirely if you don't want the heat.
I did not include first dredging the fish in flour before the egg/buttermilk, and seasoned crumbs. I have not had trouble in the many times I've made this recipe with the breading staying on the fish. However, the breading is key in this recipe, so if you're used to including that step, by all means, do it...
I did not include the frying oil in the nutrition statistics because it's nearly impossible to calculate. If you fry it hot in canola oil, the fish doesn't absorb very much oil. Keep this in mind if you are counting fats and calories.
I included 1/2 of the breading ingredients in the nutrition statistics, due to the fact that about 1/2 remains in the bowls.
Macro Nutrients (MyFitnessPal): 508 calories; 49 g protein; 61 g carbohydrates; 7 g fat. Approximately.