Dressings are incredibly easy and versatile. Dare I say; a salad without dressing is just an amalgamation of greens; healthy greens that enrich the body, terribly good for you, yes, but achingly dull.
Why not skip the jug of mayonnaise for a healthy, refreshing and memorable dressing. My favourite dressings are those I can eat as dips for vegetables, or as sauces for lean meats or fish. Talking about killing two birds with one stone; let us pan fry fish, served with a green salad of lettuce, carrots and tomatoes whilst basking in the flavours of olive oil, lemon and garlic! Using the same flavour profile for a salad is a great way to keep your plate simple but still dynamic. Cooking the fish in olive oil, lemon and garlic, intensifies and sweetens these flavours, especially the garlic, but using them as a dressing keeps them fresh and vibrant.
Ingredients serves 2 hungry tummies
- white skinless fish fillet (a sturdy thick fish like Nile perch or grouper)
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 5 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 crushed clove of garlic
- 2 tablespoons of finely chopped parsley or a herb of choice
- Juice of a whole lemon
Lets get cooking!
1. Whilst cooking fish, we must carefully clean and debone it. After cleaning pat the fillets dry and season with salt and black pepper. Black pepper adds a fragrant kick to fish dishes especially light dishes with linear flavours such as this.
2. Place a sauté pan over medium heat and add 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Once hot, carefully place the seasoned fillets in the pan. Throw in half of the crushed and chopped clove of garlic to cook in the oil. Use a table spoon to baste the fillet as it cooks, keep basting it with the oil and garlic and carefully turn after 3 minutes. Basting your fillets is the secret to cooking an incredibly moist and evenly cooked fillet.
3. Keep an eye on the heat in order to avoid burning and drying out the fillets. As it cooks on this side, repeat the basting technique and leave to cook for 3 minutes.
4. Roll your lemon on a surface with your palm firmly guiding it in order to soften it before cutting and make sure to remove all seeds. You don’t really want them on your plate, do you ? Cut the lemon in half and squeeze into the pan and onto the fish as it cooks. Add the finely chopped parsley. Fresh herbs are best for fish dishes. After this addition to the pan, baste again, and by the 7th or 8th minute your fish should be cooked and ready to eat. Cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of the fish and your stove temperature.
5. Transfer the fillets to a serving dish and dress with the sauce from the pan. You can serve with a Zesty Juicy Crunchy Salad as I did in this recipe, and also throw in potatoes or rice, if you need the extra carbs!
Lemon & Olive Oil Dressing
Whisk together, the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, juice from the second half of the lemon, crushed garlic and a pinch of salt and black pepper. This dressing is an excellent accompaniment as a sauce for this light fish dish and also as a zesty salad dressing. Yum!