Grilled plaice with herbs
This is another really quick dinner for when you don’t have a lot of time or inclination to cook. I never really liked flat fish much before seeing how Nigel Slater cooked it in his book, “Real Fast food”. Use plaice, sole or lemon sole, which will take a bit longer as it’s more robust. The same treatment is also lovely for fancy flat fish such as turbot or halibut, you will just need to cook the whole fish for longer, possibly in the oven.
The herbs aren’t crucial but they give massive health benefits (anti-inflammatory, gut-bacteria balancing, angi-ageing – the list is endless).
2 sole or plaice fillets, about 160g each
Extra virgin olive oil – couple of teaspoons
About 1 dsp fresh thyme leaves
Optional: 3 heaped dsp chopped fresh/frozen parsley or scissor-snipped chives, or a mix of both.
A fresh lemon half, to squeeze over
Freshly ground black pepper
To serve: 6 cups steamed veg e.g. broccoli or runner/green beans OR 4 cups of greens and 2 cups steamed carrots or steamed chopped sweet potatoes. The orange veg give you some starchy carbohydrates that unlike potatoes are rich in nutrients.
1. Put your veggies in the steamer and keep warm when cooked.
2. Heat your grill to medium.
3. Brush a baking sheet or the shiny side of a large piece of tinfoil with a little olive oil and place on your grill rack, laying the fish, skin side down, on top.
4. Smear or brush the fish with the olive oil and sprinkle over the thyme leaves and a few good grinds of black pepper.
5. Grill till tender and opaque, about 5 mins. It’s done when the point of a knife goes through the fish like a hot knife through butter. The baking sheet/tinfoil helps cook the underside of the fish so you won’t need to turn it at all.
6. Manhandle the fish onto warmed plates using a fish-slice or spatula, and scatter over the parsley and/or chives.
7. Serve with the veg and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and hand around the lemon to squeeze over.
You could use a small knob of butter, melted gently and brushed on, instead of the olive oil, if you want to but this won’t be dairy-free.
Why this is good for you:
White fish is a source of high quality protein that’s low in saturated fats. Herbs, especially fresh thyme, are a rich source of antioxidants that help lower inflammation in the skin (eg eczema), arteries (heart disease), and digestive system (eg. colitis, gastritis). Extra virgin olive oil, especially when eaten raw, is a great way to bump up your intake of vitamin E. Vitamin E moisturizes your skin from within. This vitamin also helps keep the blood thin, assisting circulation to the brain, hands and feet. Vitamin E has also been shown to play a part in dampening down an over-active immune system (e.g. allergies, auto-immune diseases).