Vermilion Rockfish with Braised Artichokes and Herbs

ThisVermilion Rockfish with Braised Artichokes and Herbs
become furnished by way of Michael Cimarusti, Executive Chef at Providence in Los Angeles. You can listen extra from Cimarusti on his preferred fish strategies and dock-to-dish philosophy in his conversation with contributor Russ Parsons.

Vermilion Rockfish with Braised Artichokes and Herbs
Vermilion Rockfish with Braised Artichokes and Herbs


  • 4 (four) 6 oz. skin-on boneless filets vermillion rockfish
  • 1-2 Tbs. canola oil for pan-roasting the fish
  • 4 medium artichokes, turned and cut into 8 pieces, hearts removed
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut on a bias into 1/2-inch slices
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1 bouquet garni: parsley stems, basil stems, 1 bay leaf, and 2 branches thyme
  • 1 piece, star anise
  • 1 1/2 cup, dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup, champagne vinegar
  • 2 lemons, juice of
  • 1 oz. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 oz. sweet butter
  • 1 additional oz. extra virgin olive oil for finishing the sauce
  • 10 large basil leaves cut into ribbons, stems reserved for the bouquet
  • 1/2 small bunch Italian parsley, leaves picked, roughly chopped, stems reserved for the bouquet    
  • 1/2 oz. chives cut into 1-inch lengths
  • Sea salt as needed
  • Espellette as needed


To prepare the artichokes:

1.    Mix the juice of 1 lemon with enough water to hold the artichokes, to prevent browning.  

2.    Strip away the outer leaves of the artichokes and then turn them with a sharp paring knife to expose the heart.  

3.    Peel the stem of the artichoke and halve the artichoke from the center of the stem to the heart.  

4.    Cut each of the halved artichokes into 4 pieces.  

5.    Hold the artichokes in the acidulated water until you are ready to cook them.    

6.    Peel the carrots and cut them, on a bias into 1/2-inch thick coins.  

7.    Warm a non-reactive saucepan over a medium flame and add 1oz. extra virgin olive oil to the pan.  

8.    While the pan is heating remove the artichokes from the water and drain them on paper towels.  When the oil is hot add the star anise, artichokes, carrot, bouquet, and the garlic cloves.  Sauté to coat the ingredients with oil, season with a generous pinch of salt.  Toss the ingredients occasionally for 2 to 3 minutes until the pan has recovered heat.  

9.    Add the vinegar and reduce over high heat, until it has completely evaporated.  

10.    Add the wine and the juice from half a lemon.

11.    Cover the pan with a lid or a sheet of parchment paper cut to fit the diameter of the pan.  

12.    Cook the artichokes and carrots until they are completely tender. Test doneness with a pairing knife or a metal skewer—the vegetables are done when they slip easily from the skewer.

13.    Set the covered pan aside while you prepare the fish.  The juices that remain in the pan will be the base for the sauce.

To Cook the Fish:

1.    Heat a non-stick pan over high heat. Be sure it is large enough to accommodate all four filets.  

2.    Season the fillets on both sides with fine sea salt and pallette or cayenne pepper.  

3.    Add 1 tablespoon of grapeseed oil to the pan.  When the oil begins to smoke add the seasoned fillets.  Press down on each filet with a spatula or a spoon to prevent curling.  

4.    Cook the filets over high heat until the skin is golden brown and crisp.  As the fish cooks the edges of the filet will begin to turn white, this will take 3 to 4 minutes, carefully remove the filets from the pan; do not turn the filets over.  

5.    When removed from the pan, the centers of the filets will appear quite rare and that’s just fine.  

6.    Place the fillets, skin-side up on a baking sheet lined with a rack; place the fish in a warm (150-200 degrees Fahrenheit) oven while you finish the sauce. The fish will cook properly in 3 and 5 minutes in the oven, this is just enough time to finish the sauce.

7.    Heat the bowls in the oven along with the fish.   

To Plate:

1.    Reheat the artichokes; add an ounce of olive oil and the butter to thicken the broth.  

2.    Taste the broth; adjust the seasoning with salt and lemon juice, as needed.  

3.    Add half of the prepared herbs to the pan and stir them through, cook the herbs in the sauce and taste the sauce again, rectify the seasoning.  

4.    Divide the artichokes and the broth equally among 4 large warm bowls.  

5.    Remove the fish from the oven and place one filet on top of the artichokes.  

6.    Divide the remaining herbs among the plates, drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil over the plates just before serving.

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