Greek style fish salad
This recipe is a nod to the fact summer is finally starting to creep out from the cold dark hole it’s been hiding in, to fill our lives with glorious warm New Zealand sunshine again. It’s a fresh vibrant dish that’s packed with zingy Mediterranean flavours. Great for a lunch, and perhaps just add some extra potatoes or garlic pita breads for a heartier dinner meal. Sumac is a cool spice that enhances the flavour of food much like salt and pepper – worth having a pot on hand to season meat and fish before cooking, I reckon! It’s a lovely colour too. The fish needs to be served as soon as it’s out of the pan ideally. Serves 4.
6-8 firm white fish fillets (enough for 4 people)
3 tbsp finely chopped fresh oregano (or 1 tbsp dried)
2 tsp ground sumac (optional)
3 tbsp butter
Oil, for frying
8 asparagus spears
2 garlic pita breads, finely chopped or torn
½ cup pistachios
1 medium red onion, finely sliced
2 tsp lemon juice
1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
¾ telegraph cucumber, seeds removed, chopped
Handful baby spinach leaves
400g new potatoes, quartered and steamed
¼ cup Kalamata olives, chopped (optional)
Herb feta dressing
½ cup crumbled feta
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
To make the dressing, chop everything up very finely and mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Combine the onion and lemon juice in a bowl with a big pinch of salt. Leave for 15 minutes or so, then drain and add to the other salad ingredients. This improves the flavour and texture of the onion.
Heat a frying pan over a medium-high heat and fry the asparagus until tender. Season and set aside for the salad.
Add the pita pieces and pistachios to the same pan. Stir fry for 5 about minutes until the bread is crispy and the nuts golden. Set aside on paper towels and season with a little salt.
Place the remaining salad ingredients and asparagus in a large bowl and add ½ the dressing. Toss to combine.
Lay the fish fillets on a clean board and sprinkle both sides with oregano and sumac (if using). Season with salt and pepper.
Heat half the butter in a pan over a medium high heat with a splash of olive oil. Add half the fish fillets and cook for a minute or two until just golden on one side. Turn the fish over and cook until just underdone, basting the top with the melted butter as it cooks. Repeat with the rest of the fillets and the remaining butter.
To serve, arrange salad on to plates, top with fish fillets, a small drizzle of the dressing and a sprinkle of pita crumbs and pistachios.