Getting a Jump on Fresh Herbs

skate-with-lemon-and-cilantroAlthough I normally steer clear of fish on’s “avoid” list, if skate shows up at my local fish market, I sometimes buy it.  (I actually hadn’t realized skate was on the “avoid” list until after I’d made this dish.)  It tastes a lot like scallops, which is a bonus for me since scallops are the #1 thing that I can’t eat – they are, in fact, the only food that is guaranteed to make me miserable within an hour of eating it.  Despite scallops’ attitude towards me, however, I like them a lot, so it’s a rare treat to be able to enjoy a scallops-y flavor without the unfriendly scallops having to be involved.

That said, you could certainly use scallops instead of skate in this dish, or you could use a light-flavored, light-textured fish like trout or perch.  Likewise, if you aren’t such a huge cilantro fan, you could use parsley or dill or even basil instead.

Skate with Cilantro & Lemon
Serves 2 hearty fish-lover meals or 4 standard meals.

4 cloves garlic, sliced thin
1 lb. light-flavored, light-textured fish (trout, perch, skate), rinsed in cold water and patted dry*
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
About 1/4 cup minced cilantro (or other leafy herbs such as parsley, dill, or basil)
Chopped fresh tomatoes or canned diced tomatoes
Sprinkling of sea salt (optional)

Drizzle a little extra-virgin olive oil into a large nonstick saucepan and place over medium-low heat for 1 minute. Add garlic and sautée for 2 minutes, then push garlic to the edges of the pan and place the fish in the center of the pan with the skin side up. Cook for another 2-3 minutes or until the flesh is opaque about halfway up – the surface touching the pan will cook first – and then gently flip the fish over. Continue cooking for another 2-3 minutes or until the center of the fish flakes cleanly when you poke it open with a fork.

Remove pan from heat and stir in lemon juice, cilantro, tomatoes, and salt. Serve immediately, making sure to give each diner a good portion of the pan drippings.


*Or feel free to use scallops, although I must admit that I’m unfamiliar with how to cook the little buggers since they clearly don’t like me.

Courtesy of The Cultured Cook.

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