To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person you meet.
Three cheers for creating a recipe before the deadline passes!!!
Tonight I moderately adapted one of my favorite spring/summer dishes for the Crisco Mediterranean Inspirations Recipe and Essay contest. The rules are pretty basic and allowed for quite a bit of freedom when it came to recipe selection. All that was required was that I use 1) at least two tablespoons of %100 Extra Virgin, Pure or Light Tasting Olive Oil and 2) a minimum of two of the following ingredients: tomatoes, garlic, olives, pasta, yogurt, legumes, fresh herbs, lentils, and cheese. Dinner tonight consisted of 6 out of the 9.
I haven’t really come up with a good name for the meal, but I think Baked Mediterranean Fish might do the trick. I think naming the dish was actually harder than making it. As with so many of my favorite dishes, all it involved was chopping up a bunch of veggies and throwing them on top of a protein and into the oven it goes!
I managed to tear myself away from chicken this time and went with a nice, light white fish. Normally, I use Cod for this recipe, but we already had Basa (a derivative of catfish) in the freezer so I just went with it. Instead of trying to defrost the light, thin fish in the microwave or just waiting hours on end for it to defrost I recommend placing the wrapped fish in a sink filled will cool water. The filets were thawed and ready to go within 20 minutes. Couldn’t be easier!
While the fish defrosts gather your favorite Mediterranean ingredients and get to choppin’. I tend to always use vine tomatoes, red onion, garlic, capers, and kalamata olives. Really anything can be added to the mix, but I find that these flavors and textures work best for me. As to not leave out a green vegetable in the meal, when the fish is ready, serve everything on top of a bed of baby spinach.
Because everything will be going into a hot oven for a while, you don’t want to too finely chop your ingredients or else you will end up with soup. I like to cut the tomato in large chunks, approximately in eighths, making sure there is a good skin to gooey inside ratio. The onion is cut into similarly sized chunks. I try to work with the onion so I make minimal cuts and can just peal the layers away, as opposed to chopping until tears are running down my face.
Once the fish was thawed, I salt-and-peppered it, placed it into a greased roasting dish and drizzled olive oil over top.
I love the color the dish takes on as I pile the tomatoes, onions, drained olives and cappers on top. Finally, I drizzle more light olive oil over the pan and cracked pepper for good measure.
The main course went into a 450° oven for 20 minutes while I heated a medium saucepan of water with olive oil, salt and three sprigs of Rosemary on high till it reached a boil. Normally when I make orzo I use chicken broth instead of water to impart a better flavor, but I didn’t have any on hand so I just threw the rosemary in in hopes that it would infuse the water with a light fresh flavor, and indeed it did! Into the boiling rosemary water the orzo went and cooked on high with the herb until the twigs began to shed their leaves, at which point I pulled out the twigs.
Let the orzo cook about 10 minutes or until it is al dente and drain the water. Once the water was removed I stirred in cubed chunks of feta and covered with the lid until it was ready to serve.
For those not in the know…orzo is a rice shaped pasta. Orzo is a great option when you just can’t decide if you want rice or pasta, or if you are just looking for a slightly different but familiar side dish.
I know the Baked Mediterranean Fish was a big hit in this house because of its light, fresh and unadulterated flavor. With warmer weather on the horizon this is definitely a meal that won’t weigh you down. The only thing that pairs better with this dinner than a light, bright and crisp glass of white would be a lovely patio just like this one…
Baked Mediteranian Fish
6 vine tomatoes
1 red onion
1/4 cup capers
1 cup pitted kalamata olives
3 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup Crisco light olive oil
4 basa/cod filets
3 cups baby spinach
Preheat the oven to 450°.
Line the bottom of a roasting pan with aluminum foil and grease.
Place the four white fish filets in the pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drizzle 3 tablespoons of the olive oil over the fish.
Cut tomatoes and onion into large chunks and place into roasting pan on top of the fish. Sprinkle the drained capers and olives into the pan. And add pealed and crushed garlic.
Add salt-and-pepper to taste and pour the remaining olive oil over the pan’s contents.
Place in oven for 15-25 minutes, or until the fish is cooked.
Serve over a bed of baby spinach.
Rosemary Feta Orzo
3 sprigs fresh Rosemary
3 cups water
2 cups orzo
1 tbs olive oil
1 cup cubed feta
Bring water, rosemary, olive oil and salt to a boil.
Add orzo, stirring frequently. Return to a boil. When the rosemary begins shedding its leaves remove the sprigs.
Continue cooking the orzo on high until it is al dente, for approximately 8 minutes.
Strain the water from the pot. Stir in feta and cover for 3 minutes.