I’m going to make a profound statement:
You can make a restaurant quality meal that is healthier and more delicious for under $10 per serving in only 20 minutes.
Yes I said it!
I love to go out to eat as much as anyone, especially living in New York where there are more amazing restaurants than you could ever visit in a lifetime. But, restaurants are expensive and last year was a big year for me. Between the wedding, the honeymoon, and the holidays, I need to conserve my cash. I’m also desperately trying to stave off the “newlywed nine,” and the extra butter and salt that restaurants tend to take such liberties with are probably not the best for me right now. The problem is, no matter how expensive and unhealthy restaurants may be, eating out is still fun, delicious and much easier than making an intense and messy meal at home. Well, I’m here to solve all your problems people! This Roasted Cod with Fennel, Grape Tomatoes, and Olives is as good as any $30 restaurant entree and cost me less than $10 per serving. It’s also mess-free, super healthy, and beyond delicious!
Before we dive in, my farmer’s market find of the week – Fennel.
Let’s learn a little something about this tasty veg: Fennel is indigenous to the shores of the Mediterranean. It thrives in dry soils near the sea and on riverbanks, so it can be easily grown in regions all over the world. It has a black licorice flavor, and when roasted with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper, the only way to describe the flavor is umami. Fennel is delicious on it’s own, either raw in salads or roasted, but it is also an amazing way to enhance the flavor of other dishes and goes especially well with fish.
I told you this meal was simple and I was not lying. You literally chop your vegetables, toss them with olive oil, salt, pepper, and dried basil, apply the mixture to the top of the fish, seal the fish in parchment paper and bake for 12-15 minutes. That’s it, 20 minutes and you’re done.
The thing is, you don’t have to tell anyone how easy it is to make this dish. It comes off looking super impressive. The guests you serve will think you’re some kind of culinary god or goddess.
Can’t you just see yourself waltzing into your kitchen after a grueling day at work and 20 minutes later serving this? Super impressive!
And, yes, it’s really healthy. A dish like this at a restaurant would be absolutely delicious, but it would be coated in butter and over salted. Here we only use olive oil and you can control the amount of salt. Also, in my mind, fish and vegetables are virtually calorie-less so you can pile on an extra large portion with no guilt.
To round out the meal lay the roasted cod and veggies on top of a serving of farro and pour some of the pan juices over it. The farro is nutty and has a slight snap when you bite into it. Best of all, it also soaks in the fresh olive-oily flavor of the juices. The texture and flavor of the farro make it the perfect accompaniment.
Healthy and inexpensive, yet gourmet and impressive – the only thing you’ll be losing with this dish are those extra holiday lbs!
[easyrecipe id=”276″ n=”0″]