Fish & Squash Ribbon Skewers with Pistachio-Mint Salsa Verde
This recipe is adapted from Joanne Weir's book, Kitchen Gypsy: Recipes and Stories from a Lifelong Romance with Food(Sunset). For my episode on Hungry for Words, I used tuna as I didn't have access to fresh halibut. This recipe would work well with any thicker solid white-flesh fish, such as cod, haddock or striped bass; the dressing would be terrific with salmon or shrimp, too. You can make the green sauce in advance, and in my experience, it holds up well if tightly sealed in a refrigerator for at least a couple of days. (It has never lasted longer than that in my household.) You can also prep the skewers in advance and keep them covered until you're ready to prepare. Joanne originally cook these in a grilled pan on a BBQ; you can certainly do this, but to simplify for a weeknight meal, I've offered instructions on how to cook in a grill pan or bake in hot oven. Photo by Thomas J. Story.
Combine mint, parsley and garlic on a cutting board. Chop finely together. Put into a small bowl, add 3 tablespoons of olive oil, pistachios, lemon zest, juice, salt and pepper. Stir well to mix. Set aside.
Make the marinade
Cut the fish into 1-inch cubes. Season with salt and pepper. In a medium bowl, combine chopped mint, oregano, chives, thyme, and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Stir together. Add fish and toss gently to coat.
Prep the vegetables
Use a vegetable peeler to slice zucchini lengthwise into paper-thin ribbons. When you reach the middle, turn over and repeat. Continue until you have only a thin middle slice. Thinly slice it, or discard. Repeat with remaining zucchini.
Briefly saute the tomatoes
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a small pan over medium heat. Add the cherry tomatoes and cook until wilted, about three to four minutes. Let cool.
In a bowl, toss zucchini ribbons with remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to coat. Thread fish cubes, vegetable ribbons and tomatoes onto skewers. Weaving each zucchini ribbon over and under to create a wave. Season finished skewers with salt and pepper.
Cook the skewers
Preheat an oven to 425 F/218 C. Place skewers on a baking sheet atop a silicon mat or parchment. Roast in hot oven for about seven minutes until cooked through.
Alternately, put a grill pan over high heat. Brush with oil. Cook skewers on each side for 2 to 3 minutes until the fish is cooked through. Serve with salsa verde.