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Pan-Roasted Grouper with Tomato and Butter Bean Salad

Food and Wine


2 heads of garlic

⅓ cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 

Kosher salt 

Freshly ground pepper

3 tablespoons sherry vinegar 

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard 

1 teaspoon sorghum syrup (see Note) or molasses 



¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar 

1 tablespoon minced dill 

2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest 

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Two 14-ounce cans butter beans, drained and rinsed 

12 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved (2 cups) 

½ cucumber—peeled, seeded and minced (½ cup) 

1 large shallot, minced (¼ cup) 

Kosher salt 

Freshly ground pepper 



1 tablespoon canola oil

Four 5-ounce black or red grouper fillets with skin 

Kosher salt 

2 tablespoons unsalted butter 

2 thyme sprigs 

½ lemon 


Make the Vinaigrette

Preheat the oven to 300°. In a foil-lined cake pan, drizzle the garlic with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for about 1½ hours, until soft and caramelized. Let cool.


Halve the heads of garlic crosswise. Squeeze out the cloves; discard the skins. In a blender, combine the roasted garlic cloves with the sherry vinegar, mustard and sorghum syrup and puree. With the machine on, drizzle in the remaining ⅓ cup of olive oil until incorporated. Season the roasted garlic vinaigrette with salt and pepper.


In a medium bowl, whisk the olive oil with the apple cider vinegar, dill, lemon zest and lemon juice. Stir in the butter beans, cherry tomatoes, cucumber and shallot. Season the salad with salt and pepper.


Prepare the grouper 

In a large nonstick skillet, heat the canola oil until shimmering. Season the fish fillets with salt, add to the skillet skin side down and cook over moderate heat until the skin is golden and the fish is cooked halfway through, 5 to 7 minutes. Turn the fillets over and add the butter and thyme sprigs to the skillet. Cook until the grouper is white throughout, basting occasionally with the butter, 5 to 7 minutes longer. Squeeze the lemon over the fish. Discard the thyme sprigs.


Spoon the tomato and butter bean salad onto plates. Set the fish on top, drizzle with some of the vinaigrette and serve.


Make Ahead

The vinaigrette can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.



Sorghum syrup, sometimes referred to as sorghum molasses, is available online at 

Printable version

Original recipe

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