Season skate with salt and Essence on both sides and dredge in flour to lightly coat, shaking off any excess flour. In a large skillet add olive oil and heat until hot but not smoking. Sauté skate for 3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown on both sides. Transfer to a warm plate and set aside while you make the sauce.
For the Vinaigrette:
In a large sauté pan heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the shallots, garlic and thyme and sauté for 1 minute. Add the red onion and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the lemon juice, tomatoes, olives, artichokes, shrimp, salt and red pepper, and saute just until heated through, about 1 minute. Add the basil and remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil and stir well to combine. Spoon the sauce over the skate and serve immediately.
Yield: 4 servings