Some days you want to eat healthy, but you just don’t have the desire to spend hours in the kitchen. That’s me on a regular day. I love looking for quick and easy, no fuss meals to prepare. Especially on Sundays when I rather lounge around the house, savouring my free time. Well, last Sunday I needed to whip up dinner, and so decided to make good use of my oven. First I baked a whole red snapper and then I prepped a mixture of vegetables from my fridge and made a medley It was light tasty and healthy and accompanied by a salsa verde (recipe below). There are no true measurements for the fish, salsa verde, or vegetable recipes. This was a dish I made with my eyes and my tongue. I added a dash of this and a pinch of that till it tasted right to me. I have added measurements as a guide here so don’t fault me. Do try it out. Cooking doesn’t have to be such a mathematical endevour, but it should be fun and the results? Lip smacking goodness.
My Nigerian snapper. Fresh from the fish market, scaled, gutted and ready to grill.
Grilling any kind of fish is easy. I do advise you to marinade the fish for a few hours, but if pressed for time it is quite ok to season and place it in the oven to grill right away. In a small bowl, place 2 tbs oliver oil (or oil of your choice), 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp black pepper, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp thyme or basil (either one is just fine).
I found these baby eggplants in the market. The are great for grilling, which can be done easily in your oven, but in my opinion, eggplants are best cooked on a charcoal grill.
The great part about this dish is that it really is quite easy to prepare. Just cut up whatever vegetables you may have in your fridge or pantry, sprinkle with a little oil, salt, black pepper and place it in your oven to grill. Grill time can vary but I’d say grill to your preference – 10 – 20 minutes depending on the vegetables. Again, this is a dish you manage with your eyes and personal taste. Also, the quantity of vegetables used is entirely (again) up to you.
I learnt to make salsa verde a few months ago while hanging out with a professional chef in London. I love it! And, it’s so easy to prepare. Chop up 2 tbs capers, 3 anchovies, and small bunch fresh basil, mix in a bowl with 1 tbs dijon mustard, 2 tbs olive oil and a dash of pepper. The great part is you can find all these ingredients in your local grocery stores in Lagos (at least). Adjust the mustard and pepper to meet your personal taste.
Salsa verde is a great accompaniment for grilled, baked or pan seared fish recipes. I loved having it with my baked Nigerian snapper.
Straight from the oven, to go with the Nigerian grilled snapper are the veggies. All they need now is to be plated and served. If you need carbs you can always add plantains or yams to the mix.
What an awesome way to eat your vegetables. There are so many vegetable options in Nigeria and they all do not have to be ground up and fried to make a stew. You can lightly season them and grill them in your over as a healthy accompaniment to any dish.