Prep 15 mins
Cook 15 mins
My homage to summer. Fresh salad of juicy tomatoes and crisp apples with herbal hints of lemon and anise... Rockfish (striped bass) steams in a firey-hot oven -- creating texture like cool, sweetcream butter... Please add Verbena to your herb garden!
- 1⁄2 cup water
- 1⁄2 teaspoon tomato paste (I use the handy squeeze tubes now!)
- 4 small lemon verbena, sprigs
- 1⁄2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1⁄8 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cucumber (Seeds removed, very small dice)
- 2 apples (Braeburns are my favorite(peeled and very small dice-about 1/2 cup)
- 1 beefsteak tomato (peeled, seeds removed very small dice(try "Brandywine" or "Pruden's purple" varieties)
- 12 cherry tomatoes (or yellow pear varieties-quartered)
- 2 teaspoons fresh parsley (chopped)
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil (chiffonade)
- salt and pepper
- 1 1⁄2 lbs rockfish (skinless, boneless -cut into 4 portions)
- Pre-heat the oven to 500'F.
- Bring water and tomato paste to a simmer and add verbena and lemon zest. Remove from heat and let steep for about 15 minutes.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil.
- Meanwhile, prepare the cucumber, apples and tomatoes, adding them to the olive oil so they don't change color. Season with salt and pepper (Sometimes I add the tiniest pinch of celery seed).
- Chop herbs and set aside.
- Place seasoned fish in a baking dish with plenty of room. Add the boiling water to the baking dish so that 1/4 of the fish is covered (no more!). Bake for 8 minutes.
- While fish is baking, strain and re-heat tomato water. Add this to the salad. Add the herbs.
- Carefully place the cooked fish onto your serving plate with the salad spooned over the top. Can you smell it?