by Kate Wiley
Introducing the first of our recurring monthly series: the Fish Dish of the month!
It is important to eat fish regularly as part of a balanced diet. Fish is not only a good source of Omega-3s, especially EPA and DHA, but also a good source of protein. Since most people don’t eat fish every day, our fish oil supplements are a great choice to get a daily intake of EPA & DHA Omega-3. However, on those days that you do have the opportunity to eat fish, we’re here to help with some recipe ideas. These recipes are easy to incorporate into your family’s regular menu.
Unfortunately, many of the fish populations around the world are threatened by overfishing. So which fish should we eat? Our focus for this series is to highlight recipes that use sustainable fish choices, preferably fish that are MSC certified or on the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s ‘Best Choice’ list.
So, let’s kick things off with a summer classic:
Salad Niçoise with Wild Planet Albacore Tuna
It’s high summer and our home garden is just starting to produce yummy vegetables. We had green beans (at least the ones the deer didn’t eat!) and new potatoes ready at the same time, so I instantly thought Salad Niçoise. Unfortunately, the lettuce had finished earlier and tomatoes weren’t ripe yet, but we made do just fine with some produce from the store.
Salad Niçoise is traditionally made with tomatoes, green beans, hard-boiled eggs, tuna, Niçoise olives, anchovies, and vinaigrette. It can also include just about any fresh vegetable you have and may or may not be served on lettuce.
I recommend using care in selecting your tuna: most of the big brands in the supermarket (Bumble Bee, StarKist, etc. ) sell Albacore sourced from South Pacific fisheries which have management issues(see the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Fish Watch on Tuna). Instead, we recommend (and so does the Monterey Bay Aquarium) that you use tuna caught along the U.S. coast, like Wild Planet’s Wild Albacore Tuna. It is troll caught in the Pacific Northwest and the best canned tuna you will ever eat: it’s so incredibly tasty. It also isn’t packed in oil or water, just tuna cooked in its own juices.
Anyway, here’s the general recipe I followed. I completely forgot the hard-boiled eggs, I couldn’t find Niçoise olives so I substituted Kalamata olives, and I just don’t like anchovies. But, hey, this is a summer salad, so add what is fresh that you like.
The ingredients for 2-4 dinner salads.
- 1 head lettuce, washed and leafed
- 1 lb potatoes
- ½ lb green beans
- 2 tomatoes, cut into wedges
- 1 sprig fresh basil
- 1 can Wild Planet Wild Albacore Tuna
- ½ cup Niçoise or Kalamata olives
- 3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- Salt and pepper
Make the vinaigrette by whisking together the vinegar, mustard, and olive oil. Be sure to taste the vinaigrette and adjust seasonings as needed with salt and pepper. I decided to add a little more olive oil to tone down the vinegar. The vinaigrette can be made 1-2 days ahead of time.
Parent tip: This is good step for kids to help with as seen below.
Scrub and wash the potatoes and snap and wash the green beans. Boil the potatoes in a large saucepan for about 8 minutes. Add the green beans and cook for about 2 minutes more until the beans are just tender. Drain the potatoes and green beans and wash with cold water to cool. Slice the potatoes and place in bowl with green beans. Toss to coat with some of the vinaigrette. This step can be done the night before.
You are now ready to assemble the salads. Put a bed of lettuce on each plate. Add the potato-green bean mixture, tomatoes, olives, and flaked tuna (and any other vegetables). Garnish with fresh basil and top with more vinaigrette.
This meal was ready in about 30 minutes making it an excellent weeknight meal. I made this on a Wednesday after coming home from work and dinner was ready by 6 o’clock. It’s quick, easy, healthy, and sustainable. What more could you want in a meal?