recipe: fish vera cruz, asparagus & lemon aioli

20151023_183211It’s fish night again, and this week’s inspiration was brought on by yet another voracious craving for olives. Fish vera cruz is a delectable combination of tomatoes, olives, capers and garlic simmered in a white wine pan sauce that the fish is cooked right in, for maximum flavor. What better way to top off a healthy, nutritious meal like this than with some sauteed asparagus, and lemon aioli for dipping! I used basa, but you can use salmon, or any type of fish you like.

2 fish fillets

1 tbsp butter

salt and pepper, to taste

2 tbsp olive tapenade

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tomato, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tbsp caper berries

1/4 c white wine

1/2 bundle asparagus, woody stems cut off

1 tbsp butter

salt and pepper, to taste

1 tsp lemon zest

1 tbsp lemon juice

1/4 mayo

1. First, get the aioli out of the way by combining the lemon zest, 1 tbsp lemon juice, and the mayo. Store in the fridge til needed.

2. If you’re using frozen fish, make sure fillets are completely thawed and patted dry with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper. Heat two frying pans over medium-high heat. Add 1 tbsp of butter to each pan. When the butter is melted, add the fish fillets to one, and the asparagus to the other. Season the asparagus with salt and pepper.

3. While the fish is cooking, spread 1 tbsp of tapenade over each fillet, then add the diced tomatoes, capers, and garlic to the pan. Once you can see the fish starting to turn opaque around the edges, you can flip the fillets with a spatula. Don’t forget to stir up the asparagus from time to time as well! When the fish starts to flake at the touch and is almost fully cooked, add the white wine and lemon juice and let simmer til some of the liquid has reduced. If the asparagus is getting too brown for your likings, add some water to the pan, stir, and continue cooking until stalks are tender but not losing their beautiful green color, about 10 minutes total.

4. Serve the fish with the pan sauce and the asparagus, with the lemon aioli on the side, and a fresh lemon wedge.

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