Grilled Fish with Citrus Vinaigrette
Adapted from The Cooking of Southwest France, by Paula Wolfert
- Servings: 2.
Sometimes we get tired of making simple weekday meals and want something different or more interesting, even if it's an ordinary Tuesday night and we don't have hours to cook. This recipe merely adds a light citrus-based sauce to your favorite fish. If you keep a jar of the French paprika called piment d'Espelette on hand, adding a pinch will add some smoky flavor. Instead of Espelette, black pepper and/or a little smoked paprika are also nice. Regardless of your choice of spice, this vinaigrette still adds interest, especially when it spills off the fish and mingles with the green beans and a little rice.
This sauce is particularly good with a stronger-flavored fish, such as tuna or swordfish. It can be made with any sweeter citrus, including grapefruit, oranges or tangerines but remember that the size of the fruit will produce a different quantity. This recipe makes enough to go with 2 to 4 servings of fish.
- 1 small red grapefruit or 2 tangerines or 2 oranges (enough to produce about 1 cup of fruit)
- Juice of ½ lime (about 1 teaspoon)
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil plus 1 tablespoon extra to rub on the fish
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 1 pinch ground piment d'Espelette or smoked pepper
- 1/2 - 3/4 pound firm fish such as tuna, swordfish or halibut
- Cut off the rind from the citrus fruit with a knife so to reveal all the fruit but removing all the skin and the white pith. Using a paring knife, cut out the sections and then cut these into medium pieces, about 3/4 inch diced. Work over a bowl so you can save any juice you may get from doing all this. Your goal is to have sections of citrus and some juice to add to the sauce
- Toss the diced citrus pieces, any saved juice, lime juice, red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and piment d'Espelette, trying to not break up the pieces of fruit. Use a fork to toss so to avoid breaking up the fruit but still giving enough of a stir to mix the vinaigrette. Set aside.
- Rinse the fish and pat dry with a paper towel. If the fish is in a single piece, cut into 2 portions. Rub a small amount of olive oil on the fish, just enough to slightly glisten the surface. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper.
- Heat a cast iron grill pan so that it's blazing hot. Cook the fish about 2 minutes a side so that the surface is grilled but the fish interior is still pink to red. The oil on the fish in the very hot pan may cause the pan to smoke a bit but don't worry (although it may cause your apartment to smell like fish for a few days!). Watch the fish very carefully because depending on how hot the pan is and how thick the fish is, it can cook very quickly, possibly less than 2 minutes per side. If you are uncertain if it is done, use a paring knife or fork to test the surface or cut into the fish -- you're looking for the fish to become opaque but not dry. For tuna you may want the interior to remain rare. When done, remove the fish immediately from the hot pan.
- Spoon the vinaigrette over the fish and serve at once.
Serve with steamed green beans and either small potatoes or rice.