Za’atar Spiced White Fish
with roasted eggplant and cauliflower rice salad
Using za'atar to coat a mild white fish really allows its herby, savory flavor to shine. This meal takes inspiration from the Mediterranean with a side dish of warm eggplant and cauliflower rice.
Smarts: If you're making Thursday's meal, be sure to make a double batch of cauliflower rice tonight.
- Cauliflower florets - 12 oz
- Butter - 1 Tbsp
- Lemons - 1 , wedges
- Fish, any flaky white variety - 1 lb (like tilapia, cod, or snapper)
- Oil, olive - 1 Tbsp
- Za'atar - 1 Tbsp
- Lemon juice - 1 Tbsp
- Vinegar, apple cider - 1 Tbsp
- Mustard, Dijon - 1 tsp
- Oil, olive - 3 Tbsp + 2 Tbsp
- Eggplants, Chinese or Japanese - 1 lb , cubed (sub Italian eggplant)
- Parsley, curly-leaf - 3/4 cup , chopped
- Mint, fresh - 8 leaves , finely chopped
- Pistachios, shelled - 1/4 cup (sub pine nuts)
Cauliflower rice - (If prepping right before cooking, get oven heating first; double if making Thursday’s meal.) Pulse florets in a food processor until broken up into ‘rice’-sized bits. Cook rice in one of two ways: 1) Microwave for 4 to 5 minutes and then fold in butter. Season with some salt and pepper; or 2) Heat a pan over medium-high heat and add butter. Saute cauliflower in heated butter for ~5 minutes, until tender but still crunchy. Season to taste with some salt and pepper. Watch this video for the full how-to on cauliflower rice. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Make dressing - Whisk together lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, and first portion of olive oil (for salad). (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Eggplant - Cube eggplant. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Fish - Rinse and pat dry. Brush on both sides with olive oil (portion for fish) and season with za’atar and some salt and pepper.
Heat oven to 425F / 218C degrees.
Toss eggplant with second portion of olive oil (for salad) and season with some salt. Spread out on a sheet pan.
Bake eggplant until nearly tender, 10 to 15 minutes.
Remove eggplant from oven and turn with a spatula. Move eggplant to the center of the pan and arrange fish around the edges.
Return pan to oven and continue roasting until eggplant is very tender and fish is flaky and opaque, 10 to 15 minutes more.
In a mixing bowl, combine roasted eggplant and dressing. Stir in cauliflower rice (reserve half if doubled), parsley, mint, and pistachios. Season with some salt and pepper.
Serve fish with salad on the side and lemon wedges for squeezing over everything. Enjoy.