Roasted Point Judith Scup with Spring Vegetables, Grains and Lemon Vinaigrette

Fish is a food near and dear to my heart—and also one many folks think is difficult to cook at home. I hope I can help you conquer that fear. I preach method over blind adherence to recipes: My recipes should act as a guide. Once you learn how they work, have fun changing the ingredients. Scup is one of my favorite fish. Native to Rhode Island waters, it’s an underappreciated and underutilized species: abundant, sustainable and affordable.
March 10, 2016


Preheat oven to 375°.

First, prepare the vegetables. This preparation is super simple once all your ingredients are chopped and ready, and especially if your grains are tender and ready. Heat a large skillet until hot. Add olive oil just to coat pan. Add onion and stir. Begin to add vegetables one at a time, from heartiest to lightest, allowing the pan to reheat before adding the next. Once they’re all in the pan, add chopped garlic and toss. These spring veggies won’t take long to cook! Add wine, allow to evaporate while stirring continuously. Remove from heat, toss in parsley, adjust seasoning with salt, black pepper and a pinch of red pepper flakes to taste. Place vegetables over cooked grains. Keep warm.

For the fish, cleaned filets from your local farmers’ or fish market are ideal. Keep the skin on to ensure a healthier, tastier and firmer fish. Lightly scoring the skin will help prevent fish from shrinking while cooking. Drizzle a little honey on the skin, season with salt and pepper. Heat butter in a skillet over high heat. Sear fish skin side down, turning once for a total 3–5 minutes cooking time. Transfer to a foil-lined baking sheet, squeeze a little lemon juice on top and set in the oven, 1–2 minutes. Remove from oven. Serve on warm plates over grains and vegetables, drizzled with vinaigrette. Garnish with fresh parsley.

Note: You can otherwise roast the fish in the oven at 375°. Season with olive oil, salt, pepper, parsley and lemon juice. Roast for 10–15 minutes, checking every few minutes until done to your liking. In the summertime, try this recipe with basil, sweet corn and tomatoes.

*Honey Lemon & Clove Vinaigrette

Place everything but the oils in a blender and blend. Add oils and blend until just together. Taste for seasoning. Shake before each use. Vinaigrette will be intentionally “broken.” It’s not meant to be thick, viscous or cloying like an emulsified dressing.

Wine Pairing: Ferrando Erbaluce di Caluso—Piedmont, Italy. The aromatic fruit, bright acidity and compelling minerality make this a super food-friendly wine that can handle the complex and subtle flavors of Derek’s fish dish. From its innovative vinaigrette to the fierce flavors of the spring vegetables, this dish will sing in harmony with this delicious and interesting white wine as its partner. —Maria Chiancola, Newport Wine Cellar & Gourmet, Newport

Recipe courtesy of Derek Wagner, chef and owner of Nick’s On Broadway in Providence and Edible Rhody's 2016 Local Hero: Chef/Restaurant!


Vegetables and Grains
  • Olive oil for cooking
  • ½ cup thinly sliced sweet or red onion
  • ½ pound asparagus, washed, trimmed, sliced into large pieces
  • ½ cup thinly sliced mushrooms (shiitake, crimini or oyster)
  • 1 cup cleaned, stemmed, roughly chopped kale
  • ½ cup fresh sweet peas, blanched
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup white wine
  • ½ cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, coarsely chopped (plus more for garnish)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup cooked whole grains (rye seed, wheat berries or quinoa, or your favorite mixture)
  • 1 cup cleaned, roughly chopped spinach (baby leaves left whole)
  • 4 scup filets, skin on, pin bones removed, skin lightly scored
  • Local raw honey (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 wedges fresh lemon
  • Honey, Lemon & Clove Vinaigrette*
*Honey Lemon & Clove Vinaigrette
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 small clove garlic (optional)
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons grapeseed oil
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