Fish for the Nine Days

July 3, 2013

4 min read


Keep it delicious by pairing simple fishes with great strong flavors like tomato, garlic, mustard, and Parmesan cheese.

Keeping dinners interesting, delicious and nutritious during the nine-day period leading up to Tisha B’Av when we don’t eat meat can be challenging. Readers often tell me that they are tired of the same pasta and fish dishes. I keep fish on the menu to make sure everyone gets lots of protein and I keep it delicious by pairing simple and inexpensive fishes with great strong flavors like tomato, garlic, mustard, and Parmesan cheese. These three fish recipes are easy to make and big hits whenever I serve them.

Garlic and Sundried Tomato Baked Salmon

Garlic and Sundried Tomato Baked SalmonServes 8

It’s hard to find fish dishes that are both pretty to serve, make ahead friendly, and pleasing to all. This salmon dish wins on all fronts. It can easily be made a day or two in advance, its full of rich flavors like garlic and tomato, and looks elegant enough to serve company. Garlic and Sundried tomato salmon is a winner in my kitchen.

  • ½ salmon fillet
  • 12 cloves garlic
  • 4 sundried tomatoes in oil
  • ½ cup fresh parsley
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 pints grape tomatoes, sliced

Place salmon, skin side down, on large jellyroll pan or other pan with low sides. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a food processor or a blender, puree garlic, sundried tomatoes, parsley, salt and oil until fully incorporated and a paste forms. Smear paste all over the top of the salmon. Decoratively, place sliced tomatoes in lines on the top of the garlic paste.

Cover and bake 30 minutes. `  

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Creamy Roasted Mustard Glazed Flounder

Creamy Roasted Mustard Glazed FlounderServes 4

This can be doubled or tripled.

  • 4 (8 ounce) flounder

  • 8 ounces crème fraiche (see recipe below or find in most national markets)

  • 3 Tablespoons Dijon mustard

  • 1 Tablespoon whole grain mustard

  • 2 Tablespoons minced shallots

  • 2 teaspoons drained capers

  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Place the fish fillets in an ovenproof baking dish. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.

Combine the crème fraiche, both mustards, shallots, capers, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Spoon the sauce evenly over the fish fillets, making sure the fish is completely covered. Sprinkle with the paprika. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until it is barely done. Do not overcook the fish and it should be flakey at the ends when it is cooked through. Serve hot or at room temperature with the pan sauce spooned on top.

Homemade Crème fraîche

  • 1 cup heavy cream or whipping cream, room temperature

  • 1 tablespoon buttermilk or 1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature

In a jar with a lid, place whipping cream and buttermilk (or sour cream); cover securely and shake 15 seconds. Set aside at room temperature for 24 hours or until very thick. Stir once or twice during that time.

NOTE: Cream will thicken faster if the room is warm.
Stir thickened crème fraiche well. Refrigerate at least 6 hours before serving. Cover tightly and store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Lemon Parmesan Baked Sole

Serves 4

This can be doubled.

For bread crumb mixture:

  • ¾ cup good quality bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup walnut halves
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

For Sole:

  • 4 sole fillets, rinsed and patted dry
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons capers

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a food processor, combine bread crumbs, lemon zest, walnuts and cheese. Pulse until almost uniform in texture. Continue pulsing while drizzling in the olive oil. Set aside.

Season fish with salt and pepper. Place 4 fillets in a single layer on a greased 9 by 12-inch baking dish. In a small saucepan melt 4 tablespoons of butter and add the lemon juice and capers. Pour butter mixture over fish. Scatter bread crumb mixture over the top of the fish. Bake uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes.

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