After rambling on about Chinese Fusion Food, Halloween and Corn Mazes last week, I thought I'd cut you a break today with a quickie write-up and a quickie dinner!
First, a few fun quotes for your reading enjoyment...don't you just love quotes?
Expecting the world to treat you fairly because you are good, is like expecting the bull not to charge because you are a vegetarian. ~Dennis Wholey
A bagel is a doughnut with the sin removed. ~George Rosenbaum
There is one thing more exasperating than a wife who can cook and won't, and that's a wife who can't cook and will. ~Robert Frost
Condensed milk is wonderful. I don't see how they can get a cow to sit down on those little cans. ~Fred Allen
He was a very valiant man who first adventured on eating oysters. ~James I
All sorrows are less with bread. ~Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote
It's so beautifully arranged on the plate - you KNOW someone's fingers have been all over it. ~Julia Child
Alright. Here is a quick and delightful meal that is perfect for nearly any occasion. Of course, as the main dish at lunch or dinner. Yet this is also a lovely first-course at a dinner party, could be miniaturized for appetizers, or even be served as brunch!
There are three things that really elevate this dish and should not be overlooked.
First, choose a tender, flaky white fish with a buttery note. Orange Roughy or Seabass would be the perfect choice, if they weren't on the "At Risk List". Instead try Swai, Mon chong, Ono (wahoo), Halibut, or Trout.
Second, chopped anchovy (or anchovy paste) provides a pungent earthy depth to the tomato sauce that simply couldn't be reached otherwise--even if it were simmered all day under the watchful eye of an Italian Nana. Don't be tempted to skip the anchovy--it MAKES the dish!
Third, FRESH basil ribbons. Enough said!
Roasted Fish Bruschetta
1 lb. ripe tomatoes, chopped
½ cup finely chopped onion
5-6 anchovy fillets, minced (or 2 tsp. anchovy paste)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tb. tomato paste
4 white fish fillets, or 1 large fillet cut into 4 pieces
4- 1 inch slices of country bread
½ cup fresh basil leaves
Oil, salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 475 degrees F. Heat a sauce pan over medium heat. Add 1 Tb. of oil, onions and anchovies. Saute for 2 minutes, then add the garlic, tomatoes and tomato paste. Salt and pepper to taste.
Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer 10-15 minutes.
Meanwhile, pat the fish with a paper towel. Then lightly oil, salt and pepper on both sides. Roast on a rimmed baking sheet for 6-8 minutes--depending on the thickness of the fish.
Brush the bread with olive oil and toast in the oven for 3-5 minutes. *You could put them on a lower rack with the fish to save time!
Stack the basil leaves. Roll them into a tight cylinder. Slice them thin into fine ribbons.
To assemble the bruschetta, top bread with a fish fillets. Then add tomato sauce and sprinkle fresh basil ribbons. Serve immediately.