One of the most pleasurable evenings on this trip was cooking dinner in the kitchen of food entrepreneur Melissa Wong and her husband, Robert. A simple vinaigrette whipped up in minutes became the unifying factor in this dish, serving as a salad dressing, a marinade, and a sauce. If you can’t find barramundi (a popular fish in Australia), substitute halibut or other mild white fish.
- 2 lemons, 1 zested and juiced, 1 sliced lengthwise into quarters
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon honey
- Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh herbs, such as dill, flat-leaf parsley, oregano, etc.
- 4 barramundi fillets, each 6 to 8 ounces
- 4 loosely packed cups of baby arugula, spinach, or other mixed greens
- 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 small Persian cucumbers, diced
- Quick Pickled Red Onions (optional; see below)
Make the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, combine the lemon zest and juice, vinegar, honey, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and black pepper. Whisk until the salt and honey dissolve. Continue to whisk while slowly adding the olive oil; whisk until the vinaigrette is emulsified. Stir in the minced herbs. Taste the vinaigrette, adding more vinegar or salt and pepper to taste. Pour 1/3 of the vinaigrette into a separate container, reserving the remainder.
Lay the fish fillets on a rimmed sheet pan and lightly brush both sides with the smaller portion of vinaigrette. (Dividing the vinaigrette into two containers prevents cross-contamination.) Season lightly with salt and pepper.
Toss the greens, cherry tomatoes, and cucumbers with 2 to 3 tablespoons of the reserved vinaigrette (you want them coated lightly) and divide among 4 plates. Top with a few rings of Quick Pickled Red Onions, if desired.
Light a grill or preheat a stovetop grill pan to medium-high. Arrange the fillets, skin side down, on a well-oiled grill grate. Cook until the edges begin to look opaque, 2 to 3 minutes for thin fillets and 4 to 5 minutes for thicker fillets. Gently turn and cook the other side until the fish is cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes more. (Do not overcook.) Arrange the fillets on the prepared plates. Drizzle with any remaining vinaigrette. Garnish each plate with a lemon wedge.
Quick Pickled Red Onions: Thinly slice a red onion into rings and place in a pint-size canning jar. Bring 1/2 cup of water and 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir in 1 tablespoon of sugar and 1 teaspoon of fine sea salt. Pour over the onions. Let cool to room temperature before serving. Cover the jar and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
Serves 4 — Recipe courtesy of the Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club