We had a ‘best of all worlds’ salad for dinner last night. Peppery arugula, baby spinach and sweet tomatoes tossed with an herby Italian vinaigrette satisfies the summer salad lover in all of us-simple, light and refreshing, summer in a bowl. The salad deliciousness gets topped with pan-fried cod in a move that satisfies the summer should be fun (but healthy) inner conflict in all of us. This meal is for those days when you’re craving something fried (you deserve it, says Naughty) but light on the fry part (that a girl, says Nice). This is not an all-out face first into a bucket of greasy thick-battered chicken kind of fried, but a light-fry* Minimal effort and prep (it’s summer, after all) produces a crispy fish that’s covered in a killer flavor bomb crust. This fish is a happy medium between the all-out woo-hoo of it all and the reality of the situation (swimsuit season, dear).
Cod is a mild, meaty fish (toddler calls it chicken) that works for fish newbies, the “not sure I like fish” crowd, the sustainably-minded, the “I could eat fish all day” subset, and all those in between. We ate outside (the kitchen floor and mama thanks you). A slight summer breeze wafted the scent of flowers and neighborhood barbecues, the kids ate decked out in diapers, the parents sipped glasses of Pinot Grigio. The salad fit right in. It’s not overly complicated, simple by some standards, but it’s got a bit of zing from the arugula, some zip from the herby dressing, and a zany cornmeal-flecked crust-chic, down-home goodness. Healthy family, happy (clean) home. Perfect.
Need more umph? Wanna impress the guests? Try Pan-Fried Cod with Barley Lentil Salad and Roasted Vine-On Tomatoes.
*Light-fry: lightly battered and briefly shallow fried