Salmon with lemon slices. Photo by Melanie Andersen, via Unsplash
The Greek diet is well-known for its health benefits and incorporating Greek ingredients along with relatively simple cooking techniques can brighten up any weeknight meal. Fish is, of course, a staple of the healthy Greek diet. With plenty of protein and important nutrients, fish are a delicious and heart-healthy option. Since fish cook relatively quickly, it is recommended that you prepare any side dishes and salads before cooking the fish.
For those concerned about the environment and overfishing, a handy guide where you can search for sustainable sources is available online: https://www.seafoodwatch.org/.
Try the following fish recipes which highlight Greek flavors.
Greek Salmon and Vegetables
1 pound fingerling potatoes, cut in half, lengthwise
4 tablespoons Greek extra virgin olive oil
1 large red onion, sliced
1/2 teaspoon Greek sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 (5-6-ounce) fresh or frozen skinless salmon fillets
2 medium red, yellow and/or orange sweet peppers, cut into strips
2 cups cherry tomatoes
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh parsley (1 bunch)
1/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives, cut in half
1 tablespoon Greek dried oregano
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place the potatoes in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with half of the olive oil and sprinkle with onion and 1/8 teaspoon of the salt and the black pepper. Toss to coat. completely, and then transfer to a 15 by 10-inch baking pan. Cover the pan with foil and roast for 30 minutes in the preheated oven. Meanwhile, thaw the salmon, if using frozen. In the same large mixing bowl, stir together the sweet peppers, tomatoes, parsley, olives, oregano, and 1/8 teaspoon of the salt and black pepper. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil and toss to coat evenly. Rinse the salmon in cool water and pat dry with paper towels. Season the salmon with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and black pepper. Place the pepper mixture over the potatoes and top with salmon. Roast, uncovered for about 10 minutes more or just until salmon flakes. Zest the lemon. Squeeze the juice from the lemon over the salmon and vegetables. Top with a sprinkle of the lemon zest and serve immediately.
Sardines. Photo by Yoav Hornung, via Unsplash
12 (2-3-inch) sardines or anchovies, cleaned
3/4 cup red wine vinegar
Greek sea salt, to taste
3/4 cup Greek extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
Working with one sardine at a time, without piercing the fish all the way through, use the tip of the knife to loosen the spine and remove the bones from the flesh. Rinse the cavity with 1 tablespoon of vinegar and transfer the deboned sardine to a small bowl. Lightly season the cavity with salt. Repeat with remaining fish and vinegar. Drain sardines and place in a non-reactive, eight-inch square baking dish. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon juice, and parsley, and pour marinade over the sardines, making sure some of the marinade gets into the cavity of each fish. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, 6-8 hours, turning the sardines over in the marinade occasionally. Serve with fresh bread.
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