Mediterranean Diet Recipes Breakfast Easy

CAPERED FISH CAKES WITH OLIVE-ANCHOVY RELISH

You’ve heard of crab cakes. This version is lighter, main-taining that “comfort food” quality, but with a Mediter-ranean flair. Depending on your calorie needs and taste preferences, they can be either quickly fried in olive oil for a delightful crispy texture, or baked in the oven—not as crisp, but plenty satisfying nevertheless. Either option is delicious, especially when topped with the briny, sparkling taste of olive-anchovy relish. You can almost see the Mediterranean when you taste this exquisite combination! If you can’t find

them or don’t like them, you can leave the sardines out of the fish cakes and the anchovies out of the relish, but both add such a pleasant depth to the flavors that we hope you will choose to give them a try.

By the way, Eve’s seven-year-old son/taste tester loved these, although he suggested that next time she “leave out the little green things” (i.e., the scallions). We suggest keep-ing the “little green things.” The relish is strongly flavored and not particularly kid-friendly, but the fish cakes on their own (dare we say with a little ketchup?) make a pleasant supper for all ages.

Fish Cakes

1 pound cod fillet

½ cup vegetable broth

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

3 scallions, finely chopped, including some of the green part

1 tablespoon capers, drained and minced

2 cloves fresh garlic, peeled and minced

2 sardines, drained and chopped

¼ cup whole-wheat or all-purpose flour

1 cup dried whole-grain bread crumbs

1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

2 large eggs

1 tablespoon fresh dill (or 1 teaspoon dried dill) 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Lemon wedges

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and vegetable broth and tilt the pan to coat. Add the cod fillet. Cook until the fish is cooked through and flakes nicely, about 15 minutes, flipping the fillet halfway through cook-ing. If the fish falls apart into the vegetable broth, that’s fine—you’ll be flaking it apart anyway.

Remove the cooked cod to a large mixing bowl and flake apart with a fork. Cod is a firm-fleshed fish, so if a fork isn’t working very well, don’t be afraid to get in there with your fingers and rub the fish to break up the big chunks. Add the scallions, capers, sardines, garlic, and flour.

In a small bowl, combine bread crumbs and cheese. Add 1⁄2 cup of the bread crumb mixture to the fish. Stir to com-bine. Mix the eggs with a fork in a small bowl or cup, then add the eggs and dill to the fish mixture. Stir thoroughly un-til the mixture resembles a thick paste.

Spread remaining 1⁄2 cup bread crumbs on a large plate. Dust your hands with a little flour, and take about 1⁄16 of the mixture in your hands. Shape it into a patty, then press the patty into the bread crumb mixture, coating both sides. Re-peat with remaining mixture to make six patties.

To fry: Put 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium skillet, just large enough to hold the six patties (or a smaller one, doing the patties in batches, although if you do it this way, you may have to add more olive oil). Turn burner to medium, and heat until the oil releases its aroma, about 5 minutes. Place patties in pan and cook until golden brown and crispy, flipping once, about 5 minutes on each side.

To bake: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Rub a thin layer of olive oil on a cookie sheet, or spray with olive oil nonstick cooking spray. Place patties on the cookie sheet so they don’t touch one another. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown on both sides, flipping patties halfway through cook-ing time.

Serve hot, room temperature, or cold, with or without a salad, or stuffed in a pita with fresh spinach. If desired, top with olive-anchovy relish (recipe below).

Serves 6.

 

Olive-Anchovy Relish

½ cup black olives (not“California-style”), pitted and coarsely chopped

½ cup green olives, pitted and coarsely chopped 2 tablespoon capers, drained

1 clove fresh garlic, minced

2 anchovy fillets, drained and coarsely chopped 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Mix all ingredients. Spoon over fish cakes or other fish or meat.

Tip: To pit olives quickly, use a cherry pitter or press the flat side of a wide knife against the olive to crush it, then pick out the pit.

Makes 1 cup, or approximately 6 servings.

TAPENADE

This olive/caper/anchovy paste originated in France. It tastes great on pita, baguette, or your favorite bread. It’s similar to the olive-anchovy relish above, but chopped down to be more of a paste. In fact, you can pulse the above recipe in a food processor (add a tablespoon of brandy if desired) for a version of tapenade. Or try this one, below. Pair it with bread for spreading and a Greek salad, and you’ve got lunch! To make this a vegetarian dish, just leave out the an-chovies.

1 cup black olives (not “California-style”) ¼ cup capers

12 anchovy filets

2 garlic cloves, minced

⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil Juice of half a fresh lemon

1 tablespoon brandy (optional)

In a blender or food processor fitted with the metal blade, combine all ingredients and process to a grainy paste (tape-

nade is sometimes called the “caviar of Provence,” so think caviar when determining the proper texture). Tapenade keeps in the refrigerator for about a week. If the paste is too dry or doesn’t blend well, add another tablespoon of olive oil. Serve as a dip for raw vegetables or a spread for fresh bread.

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