Pesach is that time of year when food prep is at the forefront of everyone’s to-do list and the concerns about cholesterol follow right behind. With the chopped liver and the mandatory brisket and roasts and chicken soup and, oy, the eggs. Soooo many eggs, it makes my arteries start to harden just writing about it. Sometimes you just have to take a step back and say, “No more meat — pass the fish!”
Yes, gefilte fish might be your first thought, but after the seder leftovers are gone I’m going to suggest you utilize some fresh fillets of white fish or salmon and cook up these fast, easy and healthy fish recipes to help balance out all the heavy meat meals that make up the first two and last two days of yontif.
Of special note: No matzohs will harmed in the making of these recipes. They are completely, utterly and absolutely matzoh-free.
White Fish with Tomatoes and Black Olives
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 bunch fresh basil, sliced thin, divided 2/3 and 1/3
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 red pepper, chopped
1-1/2 lbs. fresh tomatoes, chopped (or one 14-ounce can whole tomatoes)
Salt and black pepper
1 to 2 Tbs. red wine or 1 to 2 tsp. vinegar
4 5-ounce whitefish fillets, skin and bones removed
3/4 cup black olives, pitted and sliced
1/2 to 1 cup toasted almonds
Heat the olive oil in a skillet. When hot, add the garlic, red pepper, and 2/3 of the basil. Cook, stirring often, until garlic is soft, not browned, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat and cook, uncovered, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the red wine or vinegar, cook 2 or 3 more minutes and season with salt and pepper.
Preheat the oven to 425º. Season both sides of the fish with salt and pepper. When the tomato sauce is done cooking remove it from the heat. Place the fillets on the tomato sauce. Top the two fillets with the olives and remaining 1/3 of the sliced basil leaves. Transfer skillet to the oven and cook until fish is done, 10 to 15 minutes. Serve the fillets topped with the tomato sauce and toasted almonds.
Salmon with Lime Sauce
(Fish, dairy or parve)
1 Tbs. minced garlic
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1-1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
3/4 to 1 cup unsalted butter or margarine, melted
8 6-oz. pieces center-cut salmon fillet (about 1 inch thick) with skin
2 tsp. to 1 Tbs. lime zest
Combine all the ingredients for the sauce in a food processor and process until smooth, then set aside.
Heat a grill pan with a little oil. Season salmon all over with salt and pepper, then grill, flesh sides down, for 4 minutes. Turn fillets over and grill until just cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes more. Place the cooked fish on a platter, sprinkle with the lime zest and top each with 1 heaping tablespoon of lime sauce (you will have extra sauce).
Modified from epicurious.com
Serves 8 to 10
Cod with Green Olives
1 Tbs. oil
6 cod fillets
1 onion, chopped
1 Tbs. minced garlic
4 stalks chopped celery
3 shredded carrots
2 cups seasoned tomato sauce (like a pasta sauce)
1/4 cup pimiento-stuffed green olives, halved
1 Tbs. lime or lemon juice
2 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
Mashed potatoes (optional)
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat and sauté the onion and celery, stirring occasionally, 4 to 5 minutes, until tender. Add the garlic and carrots and continue cooking for 1 minute. Add the tomato sauce and green olives. Place the cod fillets in the skillet (making sure they don’t touch) and then spoon the sauce over the fillets. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 12 to 15 minutes until the fish flakes with a fork. Stir in lime or lemon juice. Arrange fish on serving platter. Stir the parsley or cilantro into sauce, then spoon the sauce over the cod. Serve with mashed potatoes.
Parmesan Pecan Salmon
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbs. grated Parmesan
1/8 tsp. cayenne
4 salmon fillets (1 lb.), skins removed
2 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 cup ground pecans or almonds
Preheat the oven to 400º. In a bowl combine the mayonnaise, cheese and pepper until well blended. Place the salmon in a foil-lined pan and drizzle the lemon juice over the top. Spread the mayonnaise mixture over the top then sprinkle the ground nuts on top of the mayonnaise mixture. Bake 12 to 15 minutes (depending on the thickness of the fish) until fish flakes easily with fork. Serves 4. This recipe can be doubled or tripled.