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Hawaiian Ono with Gremolata…Oh Yes!

May 6, 2010 | Fish & Seafood,

What would you make for dinner if you were struggling with losing a few pasta pounds, and your garden offered up the first parsley that could be harvested, and your refrigerator still contained several lemons that your daughter left behind, and your CSA farm garlic had only about 2 hours of life left in it? Me? I decided it was the perfect time to make gremolata, that classic Italian combo of lemon zest, parsley and garlic.And since Whole Foods had fresh and just delivered Hawaiian ono fish on sale, my menu was set.Gremolata is a simple mixture of minced lemon zest, chopped parsley and minced garlic. Because the garlic is raw it carries quite a kick, so go sparingly on the garlic unless you like the burn. I put a little of the lemon juice and some olive oil in with the mixture, but I’m not 100% sure that’s really traditional.I like to carry flavors when cooking, so dressed the fish with a squeeze of lemon juice, a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkling of parsley, and some sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper before covering the dish with foil and baking it. This might look very similar to the fish that I cooked at The Awaiting Table in Italy recently, and in fact the technique is really similar. Baking fish wrapped up tight helps keep it moist, so works well if you don’t quite have your sea legs about cooking fish.

I could have served this whole thing with rice, pasta, or another starch, but instead I served it over mixed salad greens dressed simply with a lemon vinaigrette, then topped the fish with a small dollop of the gremolata. Divine!

Yields 1/2 cup

Zest of 2 lemons
1/2 cup minced parsley
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon lemon juice (optional)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (optional)
salt and pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients together and let stand for a few minutes for flavors to meld. Serve as a condiment with beef, chicken, or fish.

Baked Ono with Gremolata
Serves 4

1 1/2 pounds ono, cut into 4 filets
2 lemons
2 tablespoon minced parsley
1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

Place fish in an oven-safe baking dish. Cut 4 thin lemon slices from one lemon and top each piece of fish with a slice. Squeeze juice from remaining lemon plus the leftover half over the fish. Sprinkle with parsley and drizzle with olive oil, then season with salt and pepper. Cover tightly with foil and bake at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes, just until fish is cooked through. Serve with a dollop of gremolata on top.

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