Recipe Thursday: Rainbow Chard-wrapped Hake with Lemon, Parsley, & Nut Relish

I know, I’m sorry; it’s been awhile since I have put out a recipe for you. The reality is – I can’t cook lately. The sickness (Lyme) has made it hard again to function like a human being, now I just hold the couch down (hey, it could fly away!). But I was re-inspired to try and get back into the kitchen with this simple/fast and yet incredibly sexy recipe that utilized the amazing Rainbow Chard I get from my local farm (Andrews Farm out of Gardiner). I’m sure I could have grown my own but these people do it so well, I focus on the herbal additions (the parsley is home grown).

I’m sure I gush about our little swap shack at the Transfer station (it’s not all I make it out to be sometimes; it’s just a little garage at the dump where people bring things that other people might be able to use, rather than just throw them away – because we go relatively often, we do find treasures but there are some days when you wonder why on earth someone would buy these goods in the first place) but it is great for books sometimes. Not too long ago I got a really nice Maine cookbook (signed, too!), Christine Burns Rudalevige’s Green Plate Special: Sustainable and Delicious Recipes. Between that and Jamie Oliver’s book on 5 ingredients, I hope that as I heal I can get back into the kitchen with gusto!

Christine uses Hazelnuts but all I had were Macadamias so that’s what we used – they were a little too sweet, I would think that Pine Nuts could work well though. We served this with simple Roasted Yukon Gold Potatoes just flavored with Olive Oil, Sea Salt & fresh ground Tri-Color Pepper. She even has a follow up recipe to use the Chard stems in an intriguing parmesan tartine. Go check it out if you get the chance (or if you are really interested, email me and I will send that out to you!). We did have more fish, so we had more Rainbow Chard leaves (you’ll need a leaf for each piece of fish, I had a couple of extra leaves so I just stuffed them in between the parcels, then butter and salted them). And she conjures a rather complicated lemon segmenting chore that I think could be covered by just hand juicing (I love my glass juicer/reamer) and leaving the pulp in. I also used plant-based butter and it came out wonderfully. If you want to cook the potatoes with them – chop into chunks, season, spread on a sheet pan and cook for 20 minutes at 375 degrees, then when your parcels are ready, raise the temp and cook the fish, leaving the potatoes in there to finish. Even my recently picky 11 yr old eater went back for seconds (because of course, I made more than this recipe called for – she’s growing!).

Rainbow Chard-wrapped flaky white fish with lemon, parsley, and hazelnut relish
Serves 4

2 whole Lemons
2 tsp Sea Salt or Kosher salt, divided
3/4 tsp Black Pepper, divided
1 tsp toasted ground Cumin
4 (5 oz – ish) portions of local flaky white fish fillet (Hake, Cod, Haddock, Pollock, etc)
2 Tbsp Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
2 tsp Local Honey
1/3 cup fresh Parsley
1/4 cup Scallions
1/4 cup toasted Hazelnuts (or Pine Nuts)
1 Tbsp fresh Chili Pepper (or 1/4 tsp dried red chili flakes)
3 Tbsp melted Unsalted Butter
4 Large Rainbow Chard leaves, end stalks removed
Sea Salt, optional

Preheat oven 400 degrees.

Zest both Lemons. In a small bowl combine 2 tsp of zest with 1 1/2 tsp Sea Salt, 1 1/2 Pepper, and Cumin. Divide the seasoning mixture among the pieces of fish, rubbing it in on all sides, set aside.

Cut the zested Lemons in half (the short way) and juice with a classic reamer, removing errant seeds (the more pulp, the better). In a mini-processor set to chop, add Nuts to barely blitz, pulsing as you add the Parsley, Chilis, and Scallions (it should all resemble couscous at this point). In a medium bowl, with a fork, whisk in the Lemon Juice (& pulp), EVOO, & Honey, 1/2 tsp Sea Salt & 1/2 tsp Pepper. Set aside.

Coat a baking dish with a bit of the melted butter.

To wrap the fish, lay down one chard leaf, shiny side down, on a cutting board. Use a pastry to coat with butter the leaf center where the fish will lay. Place your seasoned portion onto the center of the leaf and fold up the sides, then set the bundle seam side down in the prepared baking dish. Repeat this process, tucking the fish bundles in against each other and any extra leaves in between. Brush butter on the tops and grooves of the bundles and sprinkle with Sea Salt (it seasons and crisps up the chard).

Bake until the fish is opaque in the center of each bundle (12-14 min). Serve hot with the Lemon-Parsley Relish. Enjoy!

Published by Rachael M Rollson

creative life-learner

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