Seared Red Snapper with Butternut Squash and Plum Endive Compote - The Williamsburg Winery

Seared Red Snapper with Butternut Squash and Plum Endive Compote

In southern Italy, there is a long tradition of eating seafood on the eve of a major holiday, or feast day, which started with the tradition of abstaining from meat on the eve of a feast. Today, Italian-American families have adapted this tradition, called Feast of the Seven Fishes, by preparing at least 7 different seafood dishes. Chef David is pleased to share his take on this family recipe with you!


– Red Snapper

– Plums, 4-5 if fresh, 3 cups if dried

– Brown Sugar, ½ cup

– Bourbon, 1 ½ oz.

– Honey, 2 Tbsp

– Belgian Endive

– White Wine, ½ cup (Chef David likes the Wessex Hundred Petit Manseng)

– Olive Oil, 2 Tbsp

– Butter, 1 Tbsp

– Butternut Squash – Pearl Onions, 1 cup

– Pink Peppercorn, 1 Tbsp

– Garlic, 2 Tbsp chopped

– Garlic, 5 cloves

– Fresh Thyme, 3 sprigs


1) Preheat oven to 375. Place snapper filet skin down on cutting board. Slice off tail, slowly run knife between skin and filet. Cut filet into 2 pieces, should be approximately 3-4 oz. each. Season with salt and pepper.

2) In nonstick or cast-iron pan, place olive oil and butter into pan on medium heat. Allow to melt, then place fish into pan. Allow to sear 2-3 minutes, add garlic and thyme around fish. Angle pan and carefully baste fish with butter and olive oil, allowing garlic and thyme to touch fish to infuse flavor. Be sure to remove from fish before flipping. Deglaze pan with white wine. Place in oven for 5 minutes.

3) Cut butternut squash in half, removing the top, bottom, and sides. Slice into thin circles, then half. Lay onions on their side and slice in half to keep circular. Add olive oil to sauce pan on medium low heat. Add pink peppercorn, garlic clove thinly sliced (to be removed later), squash, and onions. Let cook for 5-6, until squash is golden brown in color.

4) Bring medium sauce pan to medium heat. Slice plums in half, remove pits and diced into small pieces. Chiffonade endive and add to sauce pan. Add brown sugar, honey, and bourbon. Let reduce for 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.

5) For plating, layer fish on top of butternut squash. Top fish with compote, place onions around fish. If desired, garnish with butternut squash seeds and favorite herbs.!

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