I was scrolling through the site yesterday, cleaning up recipes and configuring links and I realized that almost every food posts starts with a chat about the weather or my health. "It's cold - I'm craving soup. I have a sinus infection- I'm craving soup." Lots of soup on this site lately. Just another example of how easy it is to fall into a rut with food, especially when on a tight schedule. I gravitate to soup and salad because the recipes tend to fill me up quickly and are easy to assemble and keep for a few days. Dinner and lunch in a hurry. Lately it's been pretty rare for me to stop and experiment with something new or prepare a dish that won't yield two days worth of leftovers.
We got home from Memorial Day travels late on Monday night and I knew that I had to figure something out for dinner the next evening. A quick survey of my freezer yielded the same items I usually stock, listed in my Starting From Scratch post, but making chicken or a beef dish felt tired and too labor intensive. My first day back at work after the long weekend is always long and stressful and it almost always ends in unpacking when I get home. The last thing I want after a long day at the office is to come home to cooking a huge meal. I wanted something that would be faster than fast but still super tasty. So I scanned the freezer and my eye landed on some dover sole fillets I had spontaneously picked up at Trader Joe's during our monthly shopping trip.
I don't cook fish very often. Which, after making this recipe, is something I'm going to change. This meal took me 20 minutes from start to finish and it was delicious and perfectly summery. White fish isn't heavy but super filling and when paired with some roughly chopped, roasted root vegetables it's the perfect hot summer evening meal. What's best- the dover sole fillets I found at TJ's were only $5 for 4 pieces! There were no leftovers, but with the savings on the dinner meal it felt like I could grab a bite out with coworkers the next day without feeling especially guilty.
Quick Bake White Fish
- 3-4 fillets of white fish (I used dover sole)
- 1 /2 lemon, for squeezing
- 2-3 sprigs of green onion, white parts removed
- 1 tbsp. paprika
- 1 tbsp. saffron
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. pepper
- 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
- 2-3 cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced
I improvised this recipe with spices I had on hand and enhanced the flavors with cherry tomatoes and green onion, leftover from a previous meal. Play around with this recipe! Have a leftover lemon? Slice it up and place it on the fish. Red onion rings from a salad? Same. It's so important to play with what you have in your fridge and keep it fun. Basil would be delicious on these too!
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Remove your fish fillets from wrap and gently dry them on both sides with paper towel. Lay them out on a baking sheet.
- Sprinkle fillets with salt, pepper, paprika, and saffron. Use a gentle hand and make sure your spices are distributed evenly across the fish.
- Squeeze half of your lemon on the fish. Drizzle with a small glug of olive oil.
- Arrange green onions, tomatoes, and garlic on the fillets.
- Bake for 15 minutes, until the fish is white and flaky. Do not overcook.
I served the fish with a side of roasted, rough chopped root vegetables. (I keep potatoes, carrots, yams peeled and ready to go in some tupperware in the fridge for an easy and healthy dinner side.) The potatoes + carrots roasted while I prepped the fish AND while the fish was baking (just move them to a lower rack). Rice or a fresh salad would be delicious as well.