From Barcelona with Love: A Fish Recipefeatured

As featured in Bay Area Bites, April 1, 2009.

During my junior year of college I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to study abroad. For a year I lived in the “fat city” of Bologna and discovered the joys of cooking (and stuffing myself silly). I also bought discount tickets to other European cities every chance I got.

One of those tickets happened to land me in the beautiful city of Barcelona, where art is life, dinner is grazing through tapas, and nightlife doesn’t get good ‘til 3 am.

I stayed with Emily, a friend from school also studying abroad, who lived with a senora named Palmira. Palmira was a sweetheart and on my first night in, made a lovely supper of fried fish, topped with toasted pine nuts and a shower of fresh parsley. It was light, crispy, and had a subtle splash of acidity.

The dinner conversation was an interesting jumble of English, Spanish, Catalan, and Italian, but we did manage to get one thing straight: Palmira’s recipe for Pescada a la Vinagreta.

Like much of the cooking I witnessed while abroad, this simple and satisfying dish is made with just a few fresh ingredients, and no strict measurements. The guidelines are there, the rest is the joy of cooking.

Palmira’s Pescada a la Vinagreta

(una receta de cocina fresco de Espana!)


  • white fish fillet (hake, grouper, sole...really any white fish with a mild flavor)
  • parsley, chopped
  • garlic, minced
  • pine nuts
  • salt
  • flour
  • white wine vinegar


  1. Wash, dry, and salt the fish. Coat it in flour, dusting off the excess.
  2. Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan over moderate heat. Fry the fish until browned on both sides.
  3. With the remaining oil in the pan, on low flame, add the minced garlic, chopped parsley, pine nuts, and stir. When the nuts are toasted, add a splash of vinegar (enough to coat the bottom of the pan). Pour the mixture over the fish and serve immediately.

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