Pommegranate Basa Fillet and lemon & Mint Couscous with a Feta, Courgette & Sugar Snap Pea Salad and Garlic Yoghurt Dip

I’ve eaten a lot of meat recently, so I decided that Monday night’s supper should be meat-free. Some of my favourite ingredients to cook with are mint, lemon, feta and yoghurt – I think I’ve been inspired in this respect by Ottolenghi, and I just love the zesty freshness that combining these flavours brings. I’m always thinking of ways to work them into a meal and this was one such creation. The idea to use pommegrante came from flicking through Moro’s Casa Moro Cookbook which includes a recipe for Pommegranate Molasses. I have to say that actually, I cheated and bought a pommegrantae sauce from my local fruit and veg shop (I think I’m lucky with this though as it’s the most amazing shop and run by a Cypriot family who import lots of yummy mediterranean goodies). This dish turned out better than expected with the Basa, though you could also use Sea Bass (which had been my original plan). All round, whilst there are lots of components here, it was quite quick to make (30-40 minutes I reckon) and brought a real freshness to our Monday night!

To serve 4
Ingredients
Fish
4 Basa (or other white fish) fillets
1 tablespoon pommegrante sauce/molasses per fillet
Olive oil for frying

Couscous
I tend to measure out couscous by eye, so I recommend you follow the quantity instructions on the packet
1 teaspoon vegetable (or chicken) stock
Handful of mint leaves, chopped
Zest of 1.5 lemons
Juice of 1 lemon
half a clove of garlic, crushed

Courgette, Sugar Snap and Feta Salad
Olive oil
2 Courgettes, thinly sliced with a mandolin
175g sugar snap peas
100g Feta, crumbled
Salt and Pepper

Yoghurt Dip
100g greek yoghurt
1-2 cloves garlic (depending on how strong you want it!!)

Note – I served this at room temperature, rather than fretting about keeping everything hot, and that worked well, given it is quite a light, salady meal.

Method
1. Slice up the courgettes and sprinkle with salt and pepper. At this point also prep the lemon zest, crushed garlic and chopped mint leaves.
2. Prepare the yoghurt – mix the crushed garlic into the yoghurt, taste, and then spoon into a ramekin or similar for self-serving at the table.
2. Boil a kettle and whilst it is boiling, measure out the couscous into a pan, together wtih a teaspoon of stock. Pour just enough boiled water over the couscous to cover it (or according to the instructions on the packet), cover wtih the lid and set aside for 5 minutes.
3. Heat up a dash of olive oil on medium heat in a small fry pan or griddle pan. When hot, begin adding the courgette slices, seasoning more if necessary. Don’t overcrowd the pan. When they begin to brown, remove from pan and set aside. Repeat process until all courgettes are cooked.
4. Steam/blanch the sugar peas for 2-3 minutes and then douse in cold water.
5. Check on the couscous – if it is ready (i.e. all the water has been soaked up and the couscous is soft and fluffy), add in the garlic, lemon zest, chopped mint and a couple of squeezes of lemon juice and mix well. Taste, and if you are happy, transfer to a serving bowl and set aside
6. Start heating up a large frying pan to cook the fish with a splash of olive oil. Whilst this is heating up, you can prepare the courgette and pea salad – in a large bowl mix together the courgette slices, sugar snap peas, mint, lemon juice and olive oil. Next, crumble in the feta and season with black pepper and continue to mix. Taste the salad and add olive oil/seasoning/lemon/mint to taste.
7. When you are happy with the salad, spoon onto a serving plate and set aside
8. Now for the fish – when the pan is hot – place in the 4 fillets and add half of the pommegrante sauce (i.e. half a tablespoon spooned onto each fillet). Cook on high heat for 2 -3 minutes and then carefully turn over (being careful not to break the fish). Add the remainder of the sauce to the other side of the fillets and cook for 2-3 minutes further, turn again and if/when both sides are browned, and the sauce is carmelising in the pan, remove from the heat and layer the fish onto a serving plate.
9. I then served everything up at the table/let people help themselves.

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