If you’re using your grill a lot this summer, you can make this dish in minutes and serve it as either an appetizer for up to six people or a main course for two. Best of all, you can heat the side dish on the grill over indirect heat while the fish is cooking over direct heat. That way, you won’t have to turn your oven on indoors.
Grilled Fish with Warm Bean Salad
2 (8-ounce) white fish fillets, such as red snapper or perch
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
Warm Bean Salad:
1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans
12 sun-dried tomato halves, cut in strips
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed, if packed in salt
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic or sherry vinegar
Seasoned salt, to taste
Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
6 to 8 whole butter lettuce leaves (optional)
Cilantro, parsley, chervil or other herb, minced, for garnish
2 key limes, cut in half.
Examine fish fillets for any bones that may be sticking out. Rub or spray with a little oil of your choice, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
In a saucepan with a lid, combine garbanzo beans, sun-dried tomatoes, capers, red onion, olive oil and vinegar. Taste and salt generously. (I used Alamo City Pepper Products’ Hatch Green Chile Salt to add a kick. Use something like celery salt, if you want something milder.) Add cayenne, if desired. Cover.
Heat your grill to high and oil it. Place the pot with the beans in it over indirect heat to get warm, but not too hot. Place the fish fillets in a grill basket and set it with the flesh side down over the heat. Brush the skin side with a little of the dressing from the beans, but otherwise leave the pot covered. Cook for 2 minutes. Turn the fish over and brush with more of the dressing. Cook for about 2 minutes. Taste the bean salad and adjust seasonings.
If you are serving this dish as an appetizer, remove the fish from the grill when it’s done and slice into pieces about 1-inch thick. The fish could flake apart, which is OK. Arrange on lettuce leaves and, using a slotted spoon, top with a spoonful of the warm bean salad. Sprinkle minced herbs on top. Serve with a lime half on the side. (Serve remaining bean salad on the side or reheat and serve the next day.)
If you are serving as a main course, place a fillet on each of two plates, skin side down. Top with minced herbs and serve with the garbanzo salad on the side.
Makes 4 to 6 appetizer servings or 2 main course servings.
From John Griffin