Recipe: Grilled Pompano

The sweetness and delicate texture of pompano melds well with Mediterranean flavors.

February 25, 2020

The sweetness and delicate texture of pompano, a popular springtime inshore target, meld splendidly with the Mediterranean flavors of the vinaigrette and hummus.

Grilled pompano recipe
Serve with a glass of chilled Poseidon, or similar California chardonnay, to complement this savory dish. Beer: a hoppy red ale. Bill Doster

Recipe – Grilled Pompano


  • 2 whole pompano, scaled, butterflied, with the heads removed
  • 1 cup hummus
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup mixed olives, sliced
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 shallot, shaved
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced thin
  • 1⁄2 cup picked rosemary
  • 1⁄2 cup red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fennel fronds, or similar cut herb

1. Char tomatoes and olives in a hot pan. Once blistered, turn down heat, add shallots and garlic, and cook for 2 minutes.


2. Add the rosemary, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper to the pan, then heat briefly to combine all ingredients and make the vinaigrette.

Using a sauté pan to make vinaigrette
A sauté pan is all you need to make the vinaigrette that lends this recipe its bold flavors. Bill Doster

3. Season the butterflied pompano with olive oil, salt and pepper.

4. Apply olive oil to a hot grill with a brush or rag to prevent the fish from sticking, then grill pompano—skin side down—for 8 or 9 minutes, covered with a sauté pan for the last 3 or 4 minutes to cook the fish evenly.

Hummus under the grilled pompano
Hummus spread on the plate, under the fish, makes an ideal bed for the fish and delicious toppings. Bill Doster

Dish Assembly

1. Spread 3 or 4 tablespoons of hummus on the plate, and place grilled fish—skin side down—over it.

2. Top with warm tomato-olive vinaigrette, and garnish with fennel fronds or another cut herb.


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