MEDITERRANEAN FISH SALAD


The fresh flavors of the Mediterranean diet all harmonize on this plate. Fresh cucumbers, artichoke hearts, tomatoes and olives form the foundation. Cod or any other healthy white fish (like catfish) works for the buttery and spicy protein component. It might appear complicated but it’s actually quite easy to make.

Allergens and substitutions: To avoid dairy omit the goat cheese and replace the butter with olive oil.

 

HEALING BENEFITS

Cod is a cold, deep water living fish which means it produces substantial amounts of good fat. Besides being a good source of healthy omega-3 fatty acids this white fish is also high in vitamin A, D and E. The meat of this fish has a lighter fish flavor that makes it ideal for those who tend to dislike eating fish. Baked or broiled in butter and spices makes for a healthy indulgence.

 

Olives are a staple in the Mediterranean Diet and for good reason. This fruit that is grown on a tree provides the most amount of monounsaturated fatty acids than any other naturally occurring oils. This type of fat is the healthy kind and can lower blood sugar levels. Kalamata olives found in a glass jar can be added to nearly any salad for a salty and tart gem of flavor. Trader Joe’s always has a reliable selection of quality olive oil at affordable prices.

 

Lemons are antibacterial and have the most calcium citrate of all the citrus fruits. This is important because it can decrease the rate of formation of kidney stones. Drinking lemon juice can be used to counteract nausea, heart burn or acid indigestion. The mighty lemon can also reduce swelling, water retention and inflammation in your body. It’s antibacterial properties can help to rid the body of the bacteria that causes UTI’s (urinary tract infection).

 

PUTTING IT ALTOGETHER

Follow the instructions below to make this savory meal. Fresh white fish, whether cod or catfish, works well with these spices. Frozen fish bakes almost as nicely as fresh, just make sure to thaw it out completely before putting it in the oven. Fish (and other meat) that goes from the freezer to the oven or pan can get very mushy. Thaw out frozen fish, covered in its package, on top of any cast-iron cookware you have. Even at room temperature the cast-iron will defrost it quicker than just sitting on a plate.

Trader Joe’s and other stores sell a decent red wine vinaigrette. The ingredient list is free of low-quality ingredients and it’s easy to grab it off the shelf. If you’d like to make your own, here is our recipe for red wine vinaigrette. Making your own dressing is easier than it sounds and it tastes better, too.

It’s good practice to pull out all the pots and pans you need before cooking. Likewise, pulling out the ingredients you need to measure or chop beforehand will simplify your cooking. The French call this practice mise en place which translates to “putting in place”. It is practiced in restaurants and taught to chefs in culinary school.

 

Preheat your oven to 350F. Dry the fish filets off with some paper towels before placing in an oven-proof dish. You can use a cookie sheet if you are lacking fancy pyrex dishes. Use a pair of fish tweezers to pull out any noticeable bones. Pulling out the bones after the fish has cooked is easier, however, it can break up the neat pieces of fish filets. Do what works best for you.

Melt the 2 tbsp of butter or ghee in the microwave. Add the Old Bay seasoning (1/2 tsp), black pepper (1/2 tsp) and juice from one lemon. Microwaving your lemon for 20-30 seconds helps to get all the juice out of it before you squeeze it. Take caution to not overheat it before cutting it. A hot lemon is a squirting lemon. Mix the spices with the butter then pour it over the filets. Flip the fish a few times to thoroughly coat it in the spicy butter mixture.

Cook the fish on the middle rack for about 10-15 minutes. When the fish flakes at the light push of your spatula it is done. Try not to overcook it since it will dry out.

 

This optional step will take the sharp bite out of the onions. Bring ~1 cup of water to boil. While the water is boiling slice up the onion and place into a colander in the sink. Evenly pour the water over all the onions and allow to drain before adding to the other salad ingredients.

 

Chop and measure out the cold ingredients for the salad. Add to a large bowl and mix. Wait to add the salad dressing until right before you eat it. The vinegar in the dressing will cause the veggies to get mushy if you let it sit for a few days in the dressing. Top the salad with the optional goat cheese once it is on the plate. Measure out your portions of the salad and fish to prevent over-eating.

 

MEDITERRANEAN FISH SALAD
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
The fresh flavors of the Mediterranean diet all harmonize on this plate. Fresh cucumbers, artichoke hearts, tomatoes and olives form the foundation. Cod or any other healthy white fish (like catfish) works for the buttery and spicy protein component. It might appear complicated but it’s actually quite easy to make.
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • Cod or whitefish, 1.5 lb
  • Old Bay Seasoning ½ tsp
  • Lemon, juice of 1X
  • Black Pepper ½ tsp
  • Butter or Ghee 4 tbsp
  • Cherry or Plum Tomatoes, 2 cups
  • Kalamata Olives from a jar, 20X
  • Red Onion, sliced 1 cup
  • Cucumbers, halved and chopped, 1X 10 oz
  • Artichoke Hearts from a can, quartered,7 oz (Half the Can)
  • Goat Cheese, 4 oz
  • Red Wine Dressing, 12 tbsp
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F. Dry the fish filets off with some paper towels before placing in an oven-proof dish.
  2. Use a pair of fish tweezers to pull out any noticeable bones.
  3. Melt the 2 tbsp of butter or ghee in the microwave. Add the Old Bay seasoning (1/2 tsp), black pepper (1/2 tsp) and juice from one lemon. Microwaving your lemon for 20-30 seconds helps to get all the juice out of it before you squeeze it.
  4. Cook the fish on the middle rack for about 10-15 minutes. When the fish flakes at the light push of your spatula it is done. Try not to overcook it since it will dry out.
  5. This optional step will take the sharp bite out of the onions. Bring ~1 cup of water to boil. While the water is boiling slice up the onion and place into a colander in the sink. Evenly pour the water over all the onions and allow to drain before adding to the other salad ingredients.
  6. Chop and measure out the cold ingredients for the salad. Add to a large bowl and mix.
  7. Top the salad with the fish filet and optional goat cheese once it is on the plate. Measure out your portions of the salad and fish to prevent over-eating.
  8. Add dressing and enjoy.
  9. Store leftovers for 3 days in the refrigerator.

 

Photo by *saipal and assillo and liz west.[/two_third]

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