One of the things I find most problematic about cooking for one is fresh ingredients and especially herbs wilting before I can use them. I sometimes buy the small packets of fresh herbs at the supermarket instead of the bunches but find they often don’t last very long – particularly basil. I have tried just about every tip I can find to keep basil fresh but they don’t seem to work in my kitchen. My Mum does really well keep the basil you can buy in small seedling type pots alive on her kitchen window. But I don’t seem to be able to. I think there isn’t enough sun in my kitchen. I am going to try planting it in the garden again when the weather warms up but I love basil and eat it year round.
I have found the best way around this conundrum is to plan my meals so that I eat meals from a certain part of the world for a week. For example, one week might be Thai week. There tends to be overlap in the herbs and other ingredients in each dish, two recipes might call for Thai basil. I have certainly found it cuts down on wastage.
This recipe for baked flounder has great Italian flavours with basil and tomato. So for my meals for this week, I also made this recipe for sun-dried tomato, mushroom and basil pasta. It takes a bit of thought when planning your meals, but if you are trying not to waste food, it can make a real difference to your weekly food budget.
I worry about overcooking fish and I blame Masterchef for upping my anxiety levels with this. But I had no issues with this recipe. The fish was cooked just right and the sauce was just fabulous. It has so few ingredients but has so much flavour. That to me is one of the great joys of Italian cooking. Sure they have complicated dishes but I think overall as a cuisine the Italians have simple rustic food nailed.
This is the perfect work night spring dinner. It is so tasty but so quick to make.
I couldn’t find flounder at my local fish shop so bought some orange roughy instead which is a very similar firm white fleshed fish. But I bought too much so I made enough for almost two people and ate it all. Oops. But I did skip a side dish to compensate. And I hate wasting food.
I made this dish with:
- A few squirts of olive oil cooking spray
- 250g of orange roughy
- ½ tbs of extra virgin olive oil
- 8 cherry tomatoes
- 1 tsp of capers
- 1 tbsp of black olives
- ½ a lemon, sliced as garnish
- 4 basil leaves as garnish
- Salt and pepper to taste
I followed the instructions as given in the original recipe. I used my olive oil cooking spray to grease the baking tray – actually a square cake tin to be precise. I liked the trick given to dry the fish fillets to they don’t cook in their own juice.
The preparation time for this recipe is only about 5 minutes and cook time is 17 minutes once your oven is heated. With all this fish the dish comes in at only 364 calories. It is quite filling and with such low calories, you could easily still have a side.