If you don’t love fish—but you do love the health benefits it promises—these tips and recipes will convert you.
Another day, another study that proclaims the health benefits of fish. The latest: It may help prevent postpartum depression, according to a University of Connecticut study. But what if you don’t have a taste for it? True, you can get your omega 3s from other sources, like walnuts. But fish is such an efficient, low-calorie way to get this crucial nutrient that it’s worth giving it another try.
“My wife is a Nebraska girl who grew up on meat and potatoes,” says Josh Raymer, executive chef of Navajo Grill in Fredericksburg, Texas. “Many years ago, we went to a well-regarded sushi restaurant. She would usually order teriyaki, but she got the courage up to try this magnificent fish they had prepared for us. And the sky parted for her.” The excellent quality, freshness and skillful preparation changed her attitude toward fish forever.
You don’t need to go to a top-notch restaurant to have the same epiphany. A fresh piece of fish, caught locally, prepared simply and served with a flavorful sauce can help persuade your taste buds, Raymer says. To start, choose a flaky white fish with a very mild flavor, like cod, tilapia, rockfish or grouper, and add another layer of delicate flavor with a fuss-free marinade.
“I cannot recommend enough the wonders of fresh herbs and citrus, especially citrus zest,” says Raymer. “They are great additions to the bright flavors of all fish, without overpowering them.”
And while the weather is warm, embrace outdoor cooking. “Wood smoke from a slow grill imparts deep and lovely flavor to all fish — especially a cut of salmon or a nice swordfish steak,” he says.
Try Chef Raymer’s recipe developed exclusively for Spry and let us know if it converts you!
Redfish* Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette
*Tilapia is a good substitution if you can’t find redfish.
Simple Citrus Vinaigrette:
1 garlic clove, sliced in half
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind
1 teaspoon finely grated orange rind
1 bunch chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley or basil
Juice of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 orange
1/8 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 large or 4 small fish fillets, skinned and deboned (about 1.5 pounds)
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons butter
10oz bag mixed salad greens
1 orange, peeled and segmented (optional)
1 cup almonds, toasted (optional)
- To prepare vinaigrette, place all ingredients, except oil, in a bowl. Pour in oil in a steady stream while whisking until emulsified.
- To prepare fish, place fillets in a zip-top plastic bag. Add half the vinaigrette. Marinate at least 10 minutes or up to 2 hours, refrigerated.
- Remove fish from marinade and place on a paper towel. Pat dry. Sprinkle salt and pepper on top.
- Heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add butter. When butter foams, add fish. Cook until the edges are white and beginning to brown, about 6 to 8 minutes. Turn fish and cook until fish is thoroughly warmed and pierces easily with a fork, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from pan and place on a plate. Tent with foil.
- To prepare salad, place salad greens and orange segments, if using, in a large bowl. Add all but 2 tablespoons of remaining vinaigrette. Toss well. Divide salad among 4 plates. Place fish on top of salad. Drizzle with remaining vinaigrette and sprinkle with almonds, if using.
Check out these other fish recipes:
The sweet and spicy salsa accompanying the halibut goes beautifully with firm white fish.
It’s easy to find farmed rainbow trout these days. They’re usually sold boned and butterflied, opened up with the two halves still attached. Spoon on the savory juice that accumulates inside the packets as they bake.
Try this recipe once and you’ll never go back to buying frozen.
Mild white fish fillets on a bed of caponata.