Red Mullet in Caper Sauce (Barbounia me Saltsa Kapari)
Red mullet is arguably one of the Aegean’s most characteristic fish. Typically, it is pan-fried. This island dish, however, calls for cooking it in tomato and caper sauce, the latter a mainstay in the culinary heritage of many arid Cycladic islands. You'll want real Santorini capers for this, which you can find on my online store here.
- Salt to taste
- 1 kilo 2 lbs. red mullet, cleaned, gutted, and heads left on
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 large onions halved and thinly sliced
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 2 cups firm, ripe tomatoes, grated, or good-quality canned, chopped tomatoes, with juice
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup small Greek salted capers soaked in warm water for 1 hour and then drained
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Lightly salt the fish and set aside, covered in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet and sauté the onions over medium heat, stirring, until translucent, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic and stir for a minute. Add the tomatoes and bay leaf, bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the drained capers and simmer for a minute.
Add the fish, season with salt and pepper, cover and simmer until the fish is cooked through but still tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Serve hot.