last night was one of the first saturday nights the mimis have had in a while to stay in and enjoy a home cooked meal. we made sure to get to the farmer's market early (which for us, is by noon. what is early for you on a saturday??) so that we could see what blue moon had on hand. striped bass comes in to market season by late summer, and we were lucky they still had some filets left for the day. noodle pudding usually has it on their specials list by now. in fact, that may have been where i first tried striped bass a couple years ago. it's now one of my favorite fish for fall.
i often think of fish as a summer thing because i love it on the grill with just a spritz of lemon. it's hard for me to think of mild fish in the colder weather when i'm craving heavier, cozier type of meals.
but here's a recipe that is perfect for fall, that keeps the fish light and fresh but incorporates one of my favorite ways to have vegetables in the fall: roasting.
and the beauty of this recipe is that it is so versatile. i prefer mild, flaky fish like striped bass but you could use other filets as well. as long as 1. it can be cooked through (i.e., tuna would not work) and 2. it isn't too soft (i.e., skate is a possibility but you'd really have to watch the time).
also feel free to use whatever combination of vegetables you may prefer for roasting. i love the simplicity of mirepoix, with leeks instead of onions. the leeks roast up to a sweet toasty crisp. and of course, garlic. roasted garlic cloves may be the vegetable kingdom's gift to the culinary world. don't skip on them, and don't be afraid to eat them whole!
roasted fish with vegetables: serves 4
1 1/2 lb filet of fish
1 bunch carrots
1 bunch celery
1 bunch leeks, white and some light green parts, cleaned
8 garlic cloves
salt + pepper
1. preheat oven to 400F. cut the carrots and celery into 1/2 inch chunks and the cleaned leeks into 1/2 inch slices. slightly smash and peel the garlic. toss everything with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. evenly place on bottom of roasting pan. cook until just tender and slightly brown, about 45 minutes.
2. rub some olive oil on both sides of each fish filet. season with salt and pepper (i like using coarse sea salt for this). lay on top of roasted vegetables and cook until fish is done, about 15 - 20 minutes depending on thickness of filets. by then the vegetables should be nicely roasted and caramelized, but if not you could always take out the filets when done and finish off the vegetables for a couple additional minutes. spritz fish with lemon and enjoy!