Skate Bruschetta with Capers and Tomatoes

North Atlantic skate sauteed as a bruschetta with tomatoes and capers.

Skate Bruschetta is an easy to make delicacy, which is crafted from the plentiful North Atlantic Skate. This fish can be found anywhere along the extensive coastlines of the world. While some people view the skate as a nuisance or “garbage fish”, those in-the-know understand that this fish is an incredible delicacy worthy of the effort to catch and prepare. The Skate is a relative of the Ray and the Shark, as all belong to the Elasmobranch group of fishes. Skates in particular are classified in the order called Rajiformes. The Skate we’re preparing here is commonly found in the Northern Atlantic Ocean. The one pictured here I caught while surfcasting on Long Beach Island in New Jersey. This represents one of the over 500 different Skate species found in the world’s oceans. This Skate has a wingspan of about 16 inches.

The North Atlantic Skate
The North Atlantic Skate.

One of the unfortunate aspects of Skate is that only the wings are useful for a sizeable meal. A friend of mine that that lives on the Pacific coast of Asia states that the body is often used to make a soup stock, which is something we’ll explore in another recipe. Cleaning the Skate is easy – simply remove the wings and dispose of the rest. I’m not a fan of doing this, because the bulk of the fish goes to waste.

Scrub the wings thoroughly under cool water, pat dry with a cotton towel, and then refrigerate for 24 hours. This chilling period firms the flesh.

How to Make Skate Bruschetta

Sauté a 4 or 5 cloves of fresh garlic in a quality olive oil. Chop two large ripe tomatoes, dicing them into small Bruschetta style cubes. After browning your garlic, add the tomatoes and 3 teaspoons of fine capers. Cook for 15 minutes over a low gas. Let the oil cool down a little to reduce splatter before adding the Skate wings.

Remove the sautéed ingredients from the pan, and place in a wide serving bowl. Immediately place the two cleaned and washed Skate wings in the Olive Oil, and turn the gas back up. Sauté the wings, slowly adjusting the gas so the skate doesn’t burn. As the skate cooks, the skin becomes easy to remove with the edge of your spatula.

After the skin is removed and the skate is mostly cooked, you’ll notice the flesh flakes apart rather easily – this makes it easy to remove the rest of the cartilage that supports the wing. After removing this cartilage and ensuring the fish is fully cooked, remove it from heat and place the Skate meat in the scooped center of the bruschetta. This can be served either as bruschetta, or an entrée.

Author: Robert Lanni

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