Winter skate is an abundant species that historically has been mostly discarded as bycatch by groundfish harvesters in the U.S. because there was little market for it. That is changing, albeit slowly. While skate is popular in Europe, especially in France, it has yet to meet its market potential here. That should change as people discover how delicious it can be. There are several ways to prepare it, from simple to elaborate. I smoke it on the grill and slip it into gumbo where it adds yet another layer of rich flavor.

Skate with Capers and Butter

Serves 4

2 tablespoons canola oil 

4 skate wings, skinned and filleted 

Salt and pepper to taste 

¼ cup flour 

4 tablespoons butter, cut into cubes 

2 lemons, juiced 

2 tablespoons capers, rinsed 

2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped

Set a large frying pan over medium heat and add oil. Season skate wings with salt and pepper on both sides. Dust with flour. Cook 3 to 4 minutes on either side. Remove fish to plate and turn heat to high. Add cubed butter and cook until it foams and brown bits appear. Add lemon juice, capers, and parsley. Pour over fish and serve.

This recipe can also be prepared with dogfish, flounder, halibut, and black sea bass.

This recipe comes from the newly released cookbook Simmering the Sea: Diversifying Cookery to Sustain Our Fisheries. The cookbook is a collaboration between Sarah Schumann and Kate Masury of R.I.-based Eating with the Ecosystem, and Marie-Joelle Rochet of French research institute IFRMEMER (Institut Français de Recherche pour l’Exploitation de la Mer). The cookbook provides accessible recipes for underutilized and common seafood species in the Northeast. Recipes were developed by Chef Rizwan Ahmed of the Johnson & Wales University College of Culinary Arts (JWU) with the assistance of his students Salvatore Latorre, Michelle Marini, and Kazuya Tsutsumi.

This recipe is reprinted with permission from the publisher, University of Rhode Island.

Illustration: Léa Tirmant-Desoyen is an artist and illustrator based in Nantes, France; reprinted with permission from the publisher University of Rhode Island.