Happy 2016! I hope you all enjoyed the holiday season and are now ready to repent by making the number one New Year’s resolution to change all your eating habits and get healthy! This always makes me laugh. Why must we make this resolution year after year? Why must we be tormented with advertisements from gyms? Why must every recipe in every magazine or cooking show be about cutting calories? And if I see one more segment on TV news shows about losing weight, I just might scream. It’s not that I don’t agree with what they have to say. I’m all for healthy eating and exercise. It’s just the necessity to inundate us every year with the same information that annoys me.
Now, all this being said, I apologize for spending this blog post touting the merits of “the Mediterranean diet.” It is not a diet, but rather a cuisine that consists of mostly “whole foods,” “good fats,” and lots of fruits and vegetables, legumes and whole grains. Research has shown that it promotes longevity, as it is heart healthy, anti cancer and reduces the risk for Alzheimer’s disease. This is not to say that other cuisines are not as good, as many are indeed. But this is the cuisine I was raised on, and I do believe it contributed to my grandparents living to a ripe old age of 103. My parents are both 95 years old and going strong. I’m not overlooking the part that genetics play in longevity. I’m just saying that eating like this can’t hurt.
Today’s recipe for cod fish with olives embodies most aspects of the Mediterranean diet. My husband and I created this dish by just throwing everything “Mediterranean” into a pan, and baking it in the oven. We used cod, which is a fresh water fish, and added olives, olive oil, white wine, fresh herbs and lemons. Here we also added clams, just to do something different. We eat this dish so often that we like to add a variation from time to time. Sometimes, I add capers or halved cherry tomatoes. Sometimes I top it with a little Italian seasoned breadcrumbs. So experiment a little and enjoy!
Should you decide to complete this meal with a big piece of chocolate cake, go right ahead……there’s always next year!
RECIPE: serves 4
1 lb to 1 1/2 lbs fresh cod fish
1 dozen or so clams (if desired)
1 cup olives…any kind…I like to use a mix of olives
1/2 cup of dry white wine (approximately)
1/3 cup olive oil (approximately)
2 TBSP chopped fresh herbs ( oregano, rosemary, thyme, sage.. whatever you like) If using dried herbs, just use 2 tsp.
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Preheat oven 350 degrees.
- Coat bottom of pan with half of the olive oil.
- Put cod in pan and turn to coat with the oil.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper and herbs.
- Add wine and clams.
- Drizzle the rest of the olive oil over the fish.
- Squeeze the lemon over all and I leave the lemon in the pan.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes, covered. Then remove the foil and cook another 5 minutes. If using clams, make sure they are open before removing the foil.
- Put in platter and cover with liquid.
This is what we will be having this Wednesday for Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent!
Yum ! A good dish for lent and a good way to use baccala!