Spring Salad & Hawayej Parsley Fish
Spring produce is still going strong at Casa Nabeela. Favas, asparagus & spring herbs are in constant rotation, day in and day out. I was intrigued by the very green salad in Plenty More cookbook which featured a whole bunch of spring vegetables tossed in a pretty speckled sesame & nigella seed dressing. The salad was a breeze to put together. Prepping asparagus and green beans doesn't take much time. And since I had already shelled my favas right after I got them home from the farmers market (with the help of my kitchen assistant - the husband, heh!), it took no time to do the rest of the prep with the favas. Shelling favas and english peas as soon as I get them home saves me fridge space too as beans in their pods take up a huge amount of volume in the crisper drawer, so something to keep in mind!
I recently came across some nice wild caught Ono fish at Costco and since I'll be going to Hawaii pretty soon, I though it was only appropriate to pair the salad with this fish. After looking through my cookbooks, I ended up deciding on a middle eastern flavored fish with hawayej.
Hawayej is a pungent turmeric heavy spice mix used for savory dishes in the middle east. If you haven't had Ono fish before, prepared to be amazed by how much like chicken it is in texture. Which also means it is pretty easy to overcook, so beware! I first grilled my fish for 4 minutes total and it was a tad overcooked. The next batch I made, I broiled for 3.5 minutes and it worked out better. Enjoy!
Makes 6 servings
1 lb asparagus, bottoms peeled & cut into 2" pieces on the diagonal
1 lb green beans, trimmed & cut into 2" pieces on the diagonal
2 lb fresh fava beans, shelled
3 small shallots (~75 gm), thinly sliced
1 tbsp white sesame seeds
1 1/2 tsp black sesame seeds
1 1/2 tsp nigella seeds
4 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp red pepper flakes
6 ounces baby spinach leaves
edible flowers to garnish, optional
Bring a large pot with water halfway to a boil on high heat. Once boiling, add asparagus and blanch for 3 minutes. using a slotted spoon, remove to a bowl of ice water. Add the cut green beans to the boiling water and blanch for 5 minutes and using a slotted spoon, remove to the bowl of iced water with asparagus. Add the fava beans to the boiling water and blanch for 3 minutes. Drain the water in the pot and add cold water to arrest the cooking of favas further. Peel the favas and discard the outer skin. Ad the shelled fava beans to a large bowl and add drained asparagus and green beans. Add the sliced shallots and all the seeds. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, salt & peppers. Once emulsified, pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss with your hands to combine. This can be prepared ahead of time till this step if need be. Right before serving, (first bring the salad to room temp if refrigerated), add an ounce of spinach leaf for each serving with the salad and toss for the dressing to coat the spinach leaves ad serve garnished with edible flowers.
Makes 6 servings
2 1/4 lb wild caught Ono, or other firm fleshed white fish
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
4 whole cloves
4 whole cardamom
1 1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp red chile flakes
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 bunch parsley tender stems & leaves (~50 gm), chopped very very fine in a food processor
1 tbsp lemon juice
lemon wedges for serving
Cut the fish into 2" pieces and set it in a large bowl. Using a spice/cofffe grinder, grind pepper, coriander, cumin cloves & cardamom to a fine powder. Sprinkle this powder over the fish along with turmeric, red pepper flakes, sea salt, garlic cloves, chopped parsley and lemon juice. Using your hands, mix the fish with the rest of the ingredients so they are all evenly distributed and each fish piece is throughly coated. Marinate for 1-12 hours. I did 12 hours. Preheat a broiler. Thread the fish onto metal skewers. Once the broiler is preheated, broil for 2 minutes on one side and then flip over and broil another minute. Serve with fresh lemon juice sprinkled over top.