Friday, May 30, 2008
Quick Mediterranean Fish
Now that the seasons have solidly changed, I've been playing in the kitchen a bit to figure out some new summer recipes. My rule of thumb is to cook meals that are fresh, delicious and healthy. This may sound like a tall order, but meeting all of these goals at once doesn't have to be difficult. I wanted to share a wonderful dish I have no problem whipping up, even after a long day at work. This fish recipe only takes 30 minutes to prepare. It's nutritious and flavorful, and my family loves it. As long as you have good quality, fresh ingredients, this is a recipe you can't mess up. If you make it part of your weekly repertoire, it can also save a significant amount of time you'd otherwise spend on menu planning.
Quick Mediterranean Fish
1 large cut of the fish of your choice
1 large package fresh spinach
1 bulb of fennel
1 bunch or package of cherry tomatoes (the riper the better)
1 bunch asparagus (if in season)
Heat the oven to 350 on the bake or convection bake setting
Coat bottom of porcelain or glass baking dish with 1/3 cup olive oil
Wash the spinach, place it in the dish, and lightly salt
3 garlic cloves (minced)
cherry tomatoes (in half)
asparagus (2 inch lengths, discarding the first two inches at the bottom of each stalk)
Sprinkle the vegetables over the spinach with olive oil
Put vegetables in oven for approximately 20 minutes or until spinach is wilted and the other vegetables are softened
Take the dish out and gather vegetables together into a small mound
Place the fish on top of the mound of vegetables and spoon some of vegetable mixture on top of the fish
Lightly drizzle the vegetables and fish with more olive oil and dust with salt
Put dish back in the oven
Continuously baste the fish with the olive oil and vegetable mixture to keep it moist while cooking
I usually cook 2 lbs of fish for my family, and that takes 35 minutes. Obviously, the cook time will vary depending on the amount and type of fish you have. To check for doneness, insert a knife to see if the fish is flaking. Also use the knife to see if the center is cooked.
Once cooked, the fish should be very moist and aromatic from the infusion of vegetables and olive oil.
My favorite fish to use is halibut, but you can change fish out each season depending on what's available. Red Snapper and wild Pacific salmon would also taste divine. Even though wild fish is more expensive, I never buy farm raised fish. I believe the health benefits outweigh the cost. I also stay away from high mercury fish like tuna and swordfish. Cook with different types of vegetables as they come into season, and use your favorite FRESH herbs (never dried!) to infuse the fish with diverse flavors.
I was so excited when I discovered this recipe. It's a healthy, one dish dinner with all the nutrients you need for a balanced and wonderful summertime meal.
-Find a recipe that's easy to do and your family likes. Then repeat it with variations.
-Try to incorporate healthy ingredidents when feeding your family. It's essential to good health.
-Once you have the basics of cooking down, don't be afraid to experiment with your recipes!
-Buy local. Buy fresh. Buy what's in season.