Saturday, August 27, 2011

Lemon Herb Sauce for Fish or Veggies

Dill, Capers, and 
Sauce on Bass
Lemon Sauce over California Sea Bass

Recipe by Mom, Dad, & Robin

Another recipe inspired by my parents. They’re both gone now, but in their day loved eating fish, befitting their New England heritage. One of their favorites was Atlantic swordfish. According to NOAA’s Marine Fisheries Service, both Atlantic and Pacific swordfish populations are now at sustainable levels and not in danger of overfishing.

As recently as 1998, Atlantic swordfish populations were in serious decline, and the US National Resources Defense Council launched a “Give Swordfish a Break” campaign, resulting in Atlantic swordfish being voluntarily removed from countless supermarkets and restaurant menus.

Mom's Bowl Filled with Lemon Sauce
Ready for Fish or Veggies
Subsequently, NOAA’s Marine Fisheries Service proposed a plan based upon the campaign’s recommendations. President Bill Clinton asked for a ban on swordfish sales, and the US government passed an unprecedented law that made much of the Atlantic off-limits to swordfish fisheries until the population recovered. The great news is that protection led to a sustainable population within only about 10 years. Note that while swordfish from both US coasts is sustainable, it’s best to avoid swordfish imported from other areas. Also note that due to mercury levels, it’s best practice for children and pregnant women to avoid swordfish, and it’s wise for all of us to eat it sparingly.

But I digress! My parents used to make a simple sauce of 50% lemon juice and 50% butter for swordfish. I’ve cut down on the fat, and changed it from butter to heart-healthy olive oil. It’s quite lemony, so you might want to use less lemon or more oil or water, especially if you use it on veggies rather than fish. The strong lemon flavor stands up to oily fish like swordfish and salmon. I’ve added dill, but you could substitute basil or other green herbs.

Lemon Sauce over Steamed Chard
Lemon Herb Sauce

¼ cup fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp. dry white wine
2 tbsp. water
1 tbsp. olive oil
¼ tsp. grey salt (or more to taste)
1 tbsp. chopped capers
1 tbsp. chopped dill or other green herb/s

Combine lemon juice, wine, water, and salt. Beat with fork till salt dissolves. Beat in olive oil. Stir in capers and dill. Can be served immediately, but dill flavor will be stronger if you wait an hour or two before serving. Leftovers can be saved and eaten up to 48 hours later.

1 comment:

  1. Yet another reason for me to get my hands on some dill!

    Speaking of swordfish, my husband made a yummy relish/salsa for ours last night. He improvised on a recipe from the "Thrill of the Grill" cookbook, chopping nectarines, onion, and some cucumber, and adding a dash of salt and a small amount of a different-tasting African honey that a friend gave us. Mmmmm good!