I have a little game I sometimes play before dinner. I imagine a place, a lovely place I’ve probably never been, and then plan a meal to go with my vision of that far-off, vacation destination. Today, I invite you to play with me. To get started, take a moment and check out this gorgeous slideshow of images from Greece. Now, close your eyes and breath deeply for a while while you think of the ocean, the smell of salt in the air, the warm winds on your skin…
I can’t take the credit for finding this wonderful Greek-Style Mahi Mahi recipe (thanks Kirk!) but it fits perfectly into my game. Originally published in Gourmet last year, it’s very simple to make and boasts dramatic, rich flavors. While most Greek Mahi Mahi recipes I’ve found call for Kalamata olives to add the Mediterranean punch to the dish, this one focuses on rich, salty feta. This is made into a simple aioli that is smeared atop the fish prior to cooking under the broiler for a mere 15 minutes. The resulting tangy dish is stupendously good.
Even more delightful is the acidic marinated tomato that accompanies the fish. As written, the recipe calls for medium tomatoes cut into wedges, but I used grape tomatoes. (In part, because I like them and, in part, because they were on sale.) For the sake of simple meal planning we served, as suggested, over a bed of toasted orzo with saffron and fennel. The recipe reviewers are right: the dish doesn’t brandish a lot of gusto. But I didn’t expect it to do so. Saffron and fennel are delicate flavors that, used here, are a gentle backdrop for a very piquant fish.
This wonderful aioli, with its beautifully browned slices of lemon, would be a commendable topper for any firm flaky fish. Maybe even as a zesty portabella sauce…
Greek-Style Mahi Mahi
Domestic Mahi Mahi, if troll or line caught, is a very responsible choice when it comes to environmental concerns. If you can’t get a fish specifically caught with these techniques, look for any from Hawaii or the U.S. which are typically caught with a long line. The fish is a moderate source of mercury and there is some debate on the frequency with which it can be safely consumed. To be save, I advise sticking to the Real Simple guidelines (based on both environmental and health factors) and limit Mahi Mahi to a once a month treat.
yield: Makes 4 servings
active time: 15 min
total time: 30 min
- 3 medium tomatoes (about 3/4 pound total), each cut into 8 wedges
- 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
- 4 (6-ounces) pieces mahimahi fillet (1 1/2 inches thick) with skin
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta
- 3 tablespoons chopped mint
- 2 tablespoons chopped dill
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 8 very thin lemon slices
- Preheat broiler.
- Toss tomatoes with 2 tablespoons oil, vinegar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
- Line a broiler pan or small 4-sided sheet pan with foil or parchment paper and lightly oil foil. Put fish, skin sides down, on pan and season with 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.
- Whisk together mayonnaise, feta, herbs, and lemon juice and spread over top of fish. Put 2 lemon slices (slightly overlapping) on center of each fillet. Drizzle lemon slices with remaining 2 teaspoons oil.
- Broil fish 8 inches from heat until just cooked through, 14 to 16 minutes. If topping browns before fish is cooked, cover loosely with foil. Serve fish with tomatoes.