Lemons and Roasted Fish: A Delightful Weeknight Dinner

When I noticed a replica of Danielle Alvarez’s cookbook, “Always Add Lemon,” I knew I’d discovered a kindred spirit within the kitchen.

That title can be my mantra, and a squeeze of lemon, my secret weapon. It’s the final touch that brightens practically all the pieces I cook dinner, whether or not it’s a sheet pan of roasted greens or a scorching platter of sausages grilled till crisp.

I maintain just a little bowl of seeded wedges on the prepared within the fridge. That method, when my braised lentils or pan of pasta wants a jolt, I can squirt in lemon juice with out having to fish out the pits. My daughter, the household salad maker, makes use of them nightly for dressing. She squishes a wedge into the underside of the salad bowl, provides a pinch of salt, just a few grinds of pepper, then whisks in good olive oil. (Vinegar can appear harsh while you’re used to lemon’s light tang.)

You will wish to use six-ounce fillets, and hake or cod work particularly properly.Credit…Julia Gartland for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Barrett Washburne.

Those helpful wedges add zip the place you’d least count on it. I squeeze them into BLTs, into hen noodle soup, on the buttered, salted celery I nibble for a snack. And no seltzer glass in the home is full with out lemon floating among the many ice cubes.

It’s an obsession Ms. Alvarez captures completely within the introduction to her e-book.

“A little bit of lemon will change everything,” she wrote. “My chefs joke that ‘Did you add lemon?’ should be inscribed on my tombstone. It is the question I consistently ask as plates leave the kitchen. Sometimes a few drops is all a dish needs to really sing.”

Even for those who don’t essentially subscribe to this lemon-in-everything philosophy, including it to fish, particularly fish drizzled with brown butter, is crucial.

Serve additional nori oil on the aspect for drizzling over the fish.Credit…Julia Gartland for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Barrett Washburne.

In Ms. Alvarez’s e-book, entire, bone-in John Dory is adorned with lemon slices, roasted, then coated in a caper-strewn brown butter. Naturally, extra lemon juice spikes the sauce on the finish.

Until this level, the dish may be very traditional. But she goes one step additional and slicks the highest of the fish with nori oil for an umami kick. This dish is vivid and deep, with a silky texture that’s straightforward to realize.

In my model, I substitute fillets for the entire fish. Then, as a substitute of toasting nori sheets to make the oil, I swap in crumbled nori seaweed snack sheets. The entire factor is pretty much as good as the unique, however simpler to throw collectively on a weeknight.

All it wants is a (ideally lemony) salad to spherical out the meal.

Recipe: Lemony Fish With Brown Butter, Capers and Nori

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