Featured Recipe: Greek Lemon Fish with Cracked Wheat Salad (Tabbouleh)


Copyright Linda Gassenheimer

Lemon juice, olive oil, lots of fresh mint and parsley are sunny flavors from the sun-drenched hills of the Eastern Mediterranean where these products grow in abundance.

Bulgur wheat, used in the Cracked Wheat Salad, is made from wheat kernels by steaming, drying, and crushing them.  They need to be soaked in water for 20 minutes. A secret to flavoring bulgur wheat in this recipe is to squeeze the scallions and wheat together so that the juices from the scallions penetrate the wheat.

The general rule for cooking fish is 10 minutes for a 1-inch thick piece.  If the fish is thicker or thinner, adjust the cooking time using the 10-minute rule as a guideline. Allowing for the fact that the fish will continue to cook after it is removed from the heat, I usually cook the fish 8 minutes per inch.

Recipes

GREEK LEMON FISH

1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon dried oregano

Olive oil spray

3/4 pound fish fillets (tilapia, snapper, flounder, sole)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Whisk lemon juice, olive oil, and oregano together.  Set aside.  Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Spray with olive oil spray and add fish fillet.  Saute 2 minutes.  Turn and Saute 2 minutes for a 1/2-inch fillet.  For a 1-inch fillet saute 4 minutes per side. Add salt and pepper to taste.  Divide between 2 dinner plates and spoon sauce over top.  Makes 2 servings.

 

CRACKED WHEAT SALAD (TABBOULEH)

2/3 cup uncooked fine bulgur wheat

4 scallions, sliced (about 1 cup)

1/2 cup chopped flat parsley

1/2 cup chopped fresh mint

3 tablespoons reduced-fat olive oil and vinegar dressing

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes

Place bulgur wheat in a medium-size bowl and add warm water to cover.  Let stand 20 minutes.  Drain and squeeze out as much moisture as possible with your hands.  Add the scallions and squeeze again.  Place in a bowl and add parsley, mint anddressing. Toss well. Add salt and pepper to taste.  Spoon onto plate and place tomatoes on top.  Makes 2 servings.

Nutrition Information

GREEK LEMON FISH:Per serving: 240 calories (42 percent from fat),11.1 g fat ( 2.6 g saturated, 7.1 g monounsaturated), 84 mg cholesterol, 34.3 g protein, 1.7 g carbohydrates, 0.3 g fiber, 92 mg sodium. CRACKED WHEAT SALAD (TABBOULEH):Per serving: 238 calories (10 percent from fat), 2.7 g fat ( 0.3 g saturated, 0.7 g monounsaturated), 2 mg cholesterol, 9.2 g protein, 50.0 g carbohydrates, 13.2 g fiber, 44 mg sodium.

Shopping List

To buy: 3/4 pound fish fillet (tilapia, snapper, flounder, sole) 1 package uncooked fine bulgur wheat, 1 small bottle oregano, 1 bunch scallions, 1 bunch parsley,1 bunch mint, 1 small package grape or cherry tomatoes and 2 lemons.

Staples: Olive oil, olive oil spray, reduced-fat olive oil and vinegar dressing, salt and black peppercorns.

 

Helpful Hints

  • A quick way to chop parsley and mint and to slice scallions is to snip them with a scissors.

Countdown:

  • Soak bulgur wheat.
  • Prepare remaining ingredients.
  • Make fish.
  • Finish salad.