It has been a hot, lengthy Summer on the East Coast, and cool salad meals still reign. But one can have just so many vegetable and pasta salads. So how about a fish salad for a change? And I don’t mean canned tuna fish either, or herring in cream. I’m talking a marinated fish salad. In Puerto Rican cuisine the most popular marinated fish is pescado en escabeche or pickled fish. This is fish marinated overnight in herbs and spices and served at room temperature. In our cooking, it’s not actually considered a salad dish as such, but more of a great entrée for summer.
I’ve been experimenting with marinated fish as a genuine salad dish. And this is a recipe I came up with. In pescado en escabeche the fish used is kingfish or swordfish steaks. In this dish I use halibut fillets. But any firm fleshed fish can be had, be it turbot, cod, pollock, haddock, tilapia, even sole. Here, the fish is steamed briefly then marinated in the veggies and spices given; and finally served on a bed of lettuce leaves. With a good hunk of bread, a light white wine or rosé, or even a good beer on a hot day, it can’t be beat.
MARINATED FISH SALAD
1 pound halibut
1 medium green or red bell pepper, cut itno thin strips, then strips cut in half
1/2 cup fresh chopped parsley
1 medium oion, cut into thin strips
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced
Salt and black ground pepper to tatse
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup lemon juice
Lettuce leaves (for sreving with fish)
1 medium tomato, cut into 1/2 moon shapes
1. Wash fish fillets under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels.2. Cut fish into 1-inch cubes. Place in a steamer (either bamboo or other), or in a pan with water barley to cover, and steam briefly until cooked. Allow about 10 minutes per inch thickness of fish. Do not overcook.
3. Place cooked fish in a glass bowl. Add bell pepper, parsley, onion, cucumber, garlic, salt and pepper.
4. Combine remaining ingredients (except for lettuce); and pour marinade over fish-vegetable mix. Marinate for several hours or overnight in the fridge.
5. To serve, arrange lettuce leaves on a plate. Using a slotted spoon, place the fish salad on the lettuce; and garnish with tomato slices.
Yield: 4 servings.