CLEVELAND - When it comes to fruits and vegetables, meat and poultry, dairy, even seafood, Ohio is almost second to none. Add in locally produced cheeses, yogurt, baked goods, wines, and beers, and you could base your diet solely around the Buckeye state. We are fortunate to live in a place where we can be self-sufficient when it comes to our diets.
Northeast Ohio is home to many farmer’s markets, public markets, CSA’s, and private farms that provide access to all the bounty the state has to offer. There are also a variety of other businesses produce and sell locally made food items. The hard part is knowing what to look for and then how to use it. That’s where we come in. We are on your side with advice on how to select the best local products in season, and then how to incorporate them into your family’s meal plans in fun and unique ways. And, even if you don’t frequent farmer’s markets, you’ll still know what to look for at your local grocery store. We’ll be here every week with a new idea.
When it comes to fresh fish, Ohio is second to none. The amount and variety of fish finning around in our state’s waters is incredible. You could eat Ohio caught or raised fish every day for a month and not have the same kind of fish twice. In the spring, one popular fish caught from many Ohio lakes and streams is the crappie. The crappie gets its name from colonial American French trappers, and it describes the fish’s paper thin mouth. If you’ve ever eaten crappie, you know it’s a light, delicate, flaky fish with a wonderfully mild flavor. While we used crappie in this week’s recipe, you can use any mild white-fleshed fish as a substitute. Our take combines the best of Ohio with the sunny flavors of the Mediterranean.
Fish with Lemon, Artichoke Hearts, and Olives
1 pound crappie or other firm white-fleshed fish filets
½ cup flour
½ lemon thinly sliced
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup black and green olives, chopped (You can get these at the olive bar in your local grocery or specialty store)
1 cup water packed artichoke hearts, chopped (You can find jars of these at your local grocery)
½ cup sun-dried tomatoes, julienned and rehydrated
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
Place the lemon, lemon juice, olives, capers, sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and 1 tablesoon of olive oil in a large bowl. Mix well to combine. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium. Dredge fish in flour. Add fish to skillet. Cook until fish is slightly browned on one side. Flip and add the lemon/olive/caper/tomato mixture from the bowl, spreading evenly over the fish. Allow fish to cook another two minutes or until browned. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove to a plate and serve.
In the weeks ahead: Strawberries!