For us, summertime here in New Jersey means day trips to the Jersey Shore. I love living so close to the beach. Because of our responsibilities here on our farm, we don’t get to take family vacations during the summer months. There is just too much work to do. Day trips to the Jersey shore make up for that. The kids and I set out usually early, pack a lunch and make a nice day of it.
On a recent visit to our cousin’s beach rental, my kids got to go fishing with “Uncle Jeff” to see if anything was biting. Needless to say, it was a slow day on the water, but Gabrielle was the only one lucky enough to catch the only “keeper” of the day. Lucky for her and luck for us we were not relying on anyone to catch enough fish to feed all of us. She caught a 20″ flounder which Uncle Jeff filleted and graciously sent home with us.
Dear husband, Anthony, really enjoys fish. Since we have an overabundance of zucchini and eggplant growing on our farm right now, I thought I would incorporate the vegetables somehow with the flounder. That’s how I came up with Pan-Seared Flounder with Eggplant and Squash Ratatouille. I love ratatouille as a stand alone vegetable side dish, or as an accompaniment to pasta, poultry or meat. It is great with anything so why not flounder.
I started by chopping up some of our farm fresh eggplant, zucchini and tomatoes. I also diced up 1/2 cup of onion and 2 garlic cloves and 1/2 cup of fresh basil.
I then heated a sauté pan at medium high heat and drizzled about 3 tablespoons of olive oil to coat the bottom. I added the eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, onion and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and then add 3/4 cup of white wine or chicken broth and simmer for 25 minutes. Add the basil and parmesan cheese at the very end and keep warm until ready to plate with the flounder.
While the ratatouille is cooking, I lightly season both sides of the flounder with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
I heat up a grill pan on medium high for several minutes. Spray the pan with non-stick cooking spray and add the flounder. Squeeze the juice of one lemon over each piece. At this point, the fish will cook very quickly. I flip over after cooking the first side for about 5 minutes. Cook the other side for an additional 3-5 minutes.
This dish is so simple. In about 30 minutes, you can can have a healthy and delicious meal. Great for a weeknight or even a weekend when you don’t feel like fussing over a fancy dinner.
- 2 Fresh Flounder Filets
- 1 Egglant, diced
- 2 Zucchini,diced
- 2 tomatoes, diced
- ½ cup onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- ¾ cup white wine or chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- ½ cup basil, chopped
- ¾ cup grated parmesan cheese
- Juice of one lemon
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt, Pepper and Garlic Powder to season fish
- Dice eggplant, zucchini, onion, tomato and garlic
- Heat saute pan at medium high heat. Once heated, drizzle bottom of pan with olive oil.
- Add vegetables to the pan stirring gently.
- Season with salt and pepper
- Gently add ¾ cup of wine or chicken broth.
- Reduce to a simmer and cook for 25 minutes.
- Add fresh basil and grated parmesan to the pan and stir to incorporate.
- Keep on warm until ready to plate with fish.
- While ratatouille is simmering, season both sides of the fish with salt pepper and garlic powder.
- Heat grill pan on medium high for several minutes.
- Once grill pan is heated, spray with non-stick cooking spray or drizzle with olive oil to coat pan.
- Add fish and sear on each side for a total of 8-10 minutes.
- Slice a lemon in half and squeeze the juice of each side over the flounder.
- Place flounder on a plate and top with ratatouille.