Trying to stick to fish every Friday during Lent comes easy at first, but my resolve wears thin with each passing week. Forgoing the usual salmon or seared tuna, I decided to make pescado en salsa verde — buttery white fish fillets drenched in parsley sauce then baked with slices of potatoes. A staple in our Cuban house growing up, I asked my mother for her recipe.
I found that using half as much olive oil and vino seco as her recipe was more than enough, but cooking the potatoes without overdoing the fish was tricky. Starting them in the oven earlier, I used that time to pull the sauce together. Smothered in sweet onions, there was just enough garlicky salsa verde to warrant a second dip of crusty bread.
March is about looking forward to spring, but sometimes a quick look back lets you see something you may have missed.
Pescado en Salsa Verde
1 1/2 pounds of deboned and skinned fish fillets (lemon sole, cod, basa)
1 cup fresh parsley, tightly packed, stems and leaves
3 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 medium white onion, sliced in thin rings (about 1 heaping cup)
1 pound new potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Spread out sliced potatoes in a large baking pan, lightly drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Toss thoroughly until the potatoes are well coated. Bake in the oven, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender, 20-25 minutes.
In the meantime, combine parsley, garlic, olive oil, wine, and vinegar in a food processor or blender. Season to taste. Process until smooth and set aside.
Remove baking pan from oven and immediately lower heat to 350 degrees F. Pat fish fillets dry and add them to the baking pan in a single layer over the potatoes. Cover fillets with sliced onions and pour prepared sauce over the fish and onions in an even layer. Place in the oven and bake until the fish is flaky and opaque in the center, 20-25 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish.