You might have to trust me on this, but white fish goes amazingly well with the minerality of the kale and sweetish tang of the seasonal blood oranges, while the rosemary and crispy capers tip it over into restaurant territory (at least we think so!). Prepping to plating up takes all of 20 minutes too. Easy, healthy, Mediterranean-inspired midweek supper sorted.
Fish can be a big ask for people. Maybe you. If you are a committed vegetarian or vegan fish is of course off the menu. But some avoid fish through bad experiences (school dinners), or not knowing quite what to do with it (er, fish fingers).
This recipe is one that, once eaten, will most likely be made on rotation: it is so easy, unusual and delicious. I think it reads like something you might get at a scrubbed wooden table seasonally-focused bistro, in amongst the buckwheat spaetzle and wild mushrooms (in development!). But instead of paying £17 you are forking out perhaps £3 – tops. And you can eat it in your yoga pants. 🙂
When blood oranges have gone for the year, use “orange” oranges and a dash of lemon, or use a sweet pink or ruby grapefruit. As for the kalettes, you can always cut ribbons of fresh kale or chard for a similar taste and nutrient profile. Do keep the capers and fresh rosemary though. These are the little things that can elevate a work-a-day dish to something special. I often frazzle capers in a little oil with fresh, woodsy herbs like rosemary and lemon thyme and stir it through a plain pasta or baked vegetable dish or spoon over plain poached fish. And vegans and vegetarians, this whole flavour palate will taste awesome with planks of pan-fried tofu that you’ve dredged in a little Old Bay seasoning or flakes of dried crushed seaweed.
Just now we are dashing through to St Andrews to collect Rachel for my birthday lunch at the stupendous, Michelin-starred restaurant-with-rooms Peat Inn for my birthday. Andrew and I dined there last year and I still remember every stunning dish: Andrew remembers the squeal I raised with every stunning dish. 🙂 Then I will be hopping on a plane to see my family in Florida (yes, I just got back) for some needed vitamin D and warmth in these old bones. I hope to post once or twice while I am away, but be assured that I will come home with fresh ideas to share with you. Meantime, do keep up with my food adventures on Instagram.
What is the craziest food combination that you’ve tried and liked?
Crispy Hake with Kalette, Blood Orange and Rosemary
Hake – a member of the cod family – is currently one of the most widely available sustainable fish so I use it in preference to pricier but “posher” sea bass and bream. But use any white firm fish that you wish. Coley is another good and inexpensive option. You may wish to check the current list of sustainable fish available to you in your country as it changes quite a bit. Your fishmonger will also be able to guide you.
The key to getting a crispy skin is drying the skin and slashing it with a sharp knife, cooking the fish skin-side down for most of the cooking time then briefly on the flesh side.
note: Although I independently developed this recipe, I note that there is one similar on bbcgoodfood. xx
2 white fish fillets, skin on and pin-boned
1 blood orange OR an orange or small pink/ruby grapefruit
150g or one box of kalettes, ends trimmed and any larger flowers halved through the stem end
2 tbsp light olive oil or rapeseed oil, for pan-frying
1 tbsp capers, rinsed and patted dry
1 rounded tsp rosemary leaves, minced
1 tbsp blood orange olive oil (I use one from Greybe Fine Olive Products) or best extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Dry the fish and slash the skin several times with a very sharp knife. Set aside.
Section the orange by peeling the skin and taking a knife and cutting out the individual sections. To make as pith and membrane-less orange supremes, see this video.
For the kalettes, boil water and add the kalettes, cooking for 45 seconds. Drain the kalettes and add to a hot saute pan where the water will continue to evaporate; let the kale colour in places, then add the orange segments and season with a little salt and pepper. Divide between two plates and drizzle over the blood orange olive oil or best extra virgin olive oil. Keep warm.
Dry out the saute pan and add a little oil to heat over a high heat. Season the fish fillets and add to the pan, skin-side down. Press down each fillet with a spatula. Turn the heat down to medium flame and continue cooking for 3 minutes, depending on fish thickness. The fish should be pearly white and cooked about most of the way through, and the skin beautifully crisp. Turn carefully and cook 1 & 1/2 to 2 more minutes. After you flip the fish add the capers and rosemary, turning in the oil to crackle and cook. It should be lovely and fragrant of rosemary.
Serve the fish over the kalette and orange, finishing with any pan juices and all of the rosemary and capers. Add a little more blood orange oil if you wish.
Soft food diet: boil the kalettes until very soft and chop finely; puree the orange and use as a sauce with the oil
IF YOU LIKE THIS RECIPE, WHY NOT PIN IT FOR LATER? YOU CAN ALSO FOLLOW ME ON PINTEREST :-)