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seared fish on a bed of chickpeas and topped with crispy shallots

Pan-seared Corvina with Creamy Harissa Chickpeas



4 6-ounce corvina fillets

1/4 cup + 1 1/2 tablespoons harissa paste, divided

3 tablespoons pickling vinegar (from jar of giardiniera)

1 teaspoon sea salt, divided

2 tablespoons neutral oil

3 tablespoons butter

2-3 shallots, thickly sliced (1/2 cup)

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 10-ounce package frozen spinach, thawed and drained

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1/2 cup seafood or vegetable stock

3/4 cup heavy cream

1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup jarred pickled giardiniera, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup crispy shallots (store-bought)

Warm flatbread and lemon wedges for serving


  1. Begin by marinating the corvina. Dry the fish fillets well with paper towels. In a shallow dish, combine 1 1/2 tablespoons harissa paste and 3 tablespoons pickling vinegar from your jar of pickled giardiniera, along with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Dip the skin side of each fillet in the marinade first, then lay the fish skin side up in the dish, so the flesh of the fish is resting in the marinade. Set aside while preparing the creamy chickpeas and spinach.
  2. Next, heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium. Cook shallots and garlic until softened and translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add flour and salt and whisk into the mixture for one minute. Add harissa, stock and chickpeas and stir to combine. Let the mixture come up to a simmer. Add the thawed and drained spinach and stir into the chickpea mixture. Finally, add the heavy cream and pickled giardiniera. Taste and adjust seasoning. Cover and remove from heat.
  3. Heat a large pan or cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Once hot, add the neutral oil and your marinated corvina fillets into the skillet. If you intend to serve the fish skin side up, cook the skin side of the fish first. If you are serving skin side down or removing the skin after cooking, start with the fish flesh side down. Cook the fillets for about 3-4 minutes on the first side, then flip, reducing the heat to medium. Cook another 2-3 minutes on the second side, until the fillets are cooked through and firm to the touch.
  4. To serve, spoon the creamy harissa chickpeas and spinach into a large shallow bowl. Position a pan-seared corvina fillet on the chickpeas. Pile crispy shallots on the fish and scatter the dish with pickled giardiniera.

  5. Serve with warm flatbread and lemon wedges alongside for adding fresh lemon juice over the fish and the creamy chickpeas.


Substitute snapper, halibut, grouper or cod for corvina in this recipe. If you have a preferred variety of white fish fillets - it should work here!

  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: African, American

Keywords: Pan seared Corvina, Harissa, Chickpeas, Cream Spinach, corvina recipe