A stunning, light and healthy fish dish that’s easy to prepare and unbelievably delicious!So remember when we made the Saffron-Dill Basmati Rice a few weeks ago? Well, the following day we had this delicious fish for dinner and I’ve been very eager to share it with you ever since — but, I had to wait a bit. You see, I usually have a few tasty things in my recipe cue and there’s a certain order in which I have to share them.
Right after the rice, I planted an early seed to get you thinking about Mother’s Day brunch. So even though I presented them as dinner, I shared the Bacon-Cheddar Waffles. Next up were my Pepper Jack Turkey-Pickled Onion Lettuce Tacos — I couldn’t very well let you starve on Cinco de Mayo, now could I? Then, just as I was catching my breath, my friends at Melissa’s Produce sent me a sample of their gorgeous Dragon Tongue Beans, so I immediately made a Dragon Tongue Bean Salad with Spicy Honey-Mustard. Before I knew it, it was Mother’s Day, and my mom took center stage — after all, she’s one of the main reasons I love cooking so much. And of course, I couldn’t let you go any longer without a dessert, so I served up some super amazing brownies.
I’m excited today to have a nice space for this Saffron-Orange Whitefish, that’s been waiting so patiently in the cue. Isn’t it breathtaking? You simply can’t avoid a beautiful presentation with this dish — together the ingredients in the recipe create a work of art. You will absolutely wow your guests and you won’t believe how succulent and flavorful it is!
- about 2-pounds Whitefish, cut into 6 (approximately 5¼-ounce) fillets -- skin on
- 1 pinch saffron threads
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
- olive oil for the pan
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup finely diced yellow/brown onion
- ½ cup finely diced tomato, washed, dried & seeds removed
- about 1 dozen large basil leaves, washed, dried and finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- If you didn't already ask your fish monger to portion the fish (they're usually happy to do so), cut it into 6 (approximately 5¼-ounce) portions, leaving the skin on. Place them in a baking pan.
- Add the pinch of saffron threads to a mortar.
- Use the pestle to grind the spice until it's a powder. This should only take a few seconds.
- Add the orange juice to the mortar and then drizzle the mixture evenly over the fish fillets.
- Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to marinate.
- Coat the bottom of a large sauté pan with olive oil and place it over high heat. Sprinkle the marinated fish with salt and pepper. Once the pan is very hot, add the fish fillets (do not crowd the pan, so only add as many as will fit with at least 2 -inches between them -- you can always do a second batch). You should hear sizzling when the fish hits the pan -- if you don't, it's not hot enough yet. Sauté just until the fish is cooked through, about 5 minutes. After about the first minute, cover the pan with foil or a lid. (If you don't like the crispy skin, it will easily slide off once the fish is cooked.)
- Combine the onion, tomato, basil, sherry vinegar and oil in a small sauté pan. Place the pan over medium heat and cook only long enough to warm it, about 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Here's How to Season to Taste.) Try to time the fish and salsa so they're ready at about the same time!
- Add the fish to a large platter, or individual serving plates and spoon some of the salsa over each portion.