Local Fish With Marc Murphy

Black bass with crispy potatoes, green olives & wilted escarole

By Chef Marc Murphy


4 pieces of black bass (6 ounces each)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 lb. small fingerling potatoes (halved lengthwise, or potato’s that have been boiled sliced in rounds)

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½ cup castelvetrano olives (sliced into rings or simply crushed)

2 fresh thyme sprigs (picked)

¼ cup of salted capers (rinsed)

2 teaspoons chopped garlic

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Kosher salt

Freshly ground pepper

1 head escarole or curly endive, cored, halved lengthwise


Buerre blanc sauce (recipe below)

3 sticks of unsalted cold butter, cubed

¼ cup dry white wine

¼ cup white wine vinegar or champagne vinegar

1 shallot (chopped)

¼ teaspoon of kosher salt

½ teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice

1 sprig of thyme



In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the potatoes, cut sides down, and cook without turning until they are beginning to brown about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic, thyme and toast slightly. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the potatoes to the center of the plates and reserve warm.


Dress the cut side of escarole and grill over high heat, and cook without turning for 2 -3 minutes, and then flip for one additional minute. At this point roughly chop and toss in a large bowl with olives, capers, lemon juice and remaining tablespoons of olive oil, place on top of the potatoes.


During the cooking of the potatoes and escarole start a heavy skillet, heat oil and 1 tablespoon butter over moderately high heat until foam subsides and sear fish, skin side down about 3 minutes, or until the skin looks golden. Turn fish over and cook 2 minutes more, or until just cooked through. Transfer fish to plates on top of the escarole and potato and top with sauce.


Buerre Blanc

In a saucepot, bring wine and vinegar to a boil over high heat; add shallots, salt, thyme. Lower heat to medium low and simmer. Cook until most of all the liquid is evaporated, there should be about 1-2 tablespoons left. Remove pan from heat; whisk 2 pieces of butter into the reduction. Set pan over low heat and continue whisking butter into sauce a chunk at a time, allowing each piece to melt into sauce before adding more. Note, this process may seem time consuming but is important for the sauce texture. Once all the butter has been incorporated, remove sauce from heat; whisk in lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasoning, then strain through a fine sieve into a bowl. Drizzle on fish.


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