Crispy chickpeas are a thing of wonder, creamy on the inside and crispy, like a french fry, on the outside. The sauce for this dish is one of my favorites tangy and spicy with a bit of crunch from the sunflower seeds. Bring it all together with a perfectly seared piece of fish.
- Yield: 4 Servings
- 1 cup packed cilantro leaves and tender stems, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped or pressed
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons toasted sunflower seeds, chopped
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- ¾ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ to 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 8 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1¼ cups cooked chickpeas
- 1 bunch flat-leaf spinach, stems discarded
- 4 4 to 6 ounce skin-on red snapper fillets
- Combine the cilantro, garlic, vinegar, sunflower seeds, paprika, cumin, red pepper flakes, and 5 tablespoons of the oil in a bowl. Season with salt and black pepper.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chickpeas and cook, stirring occasionally, until crispy, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the spinach (if your sauté pan can’t hold them all in one go, add a handful, stir until just wilted, then add more) and cook until just wilted and still bright green, 1 to 2 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper.
- Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Pat the snapper dry with paper towels. Season with salt and black pepper. Cook, skin-side down, pressing the fish down with a spatula to guarantee that all of the skin is in contact with the pan, until the skin is golden-brown and crispy, 3 to 4 minutes. Carefully flip the fish and cook until cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Serve the fish and vegetables drizzled with the chermoula.