During the nine days before Tisha b’Av, a day of fasting and mourning, it is customary to refrain from eating meat – but not fish. Here are some fish salad options for that week – and the rest of the summer – as well as some sauces that are great for both fish and vegetables. This year, Tisha b’Av starts the night of July 17.
CUCUMBER AND FISH SALAD
(I adapted this recipe from Food & Wine. It makes four to eight servings.)
2 large cucumbers
1 1/4 pounds skinned fresh cod, haddock or sea bass fillet
1 chopped scallion
small bunch chopped dill
salt & pepper to taste
5 tbsp milk
4 tbsp mayonnaise
2 tbsp sour cream or plain yogurt
4 black or green olives & cucumber ribbons
- Peel one cucumber and dice in a bowl. With a vegetable peeler, remove six long strips from second cucumber, then dice and add to bowl. Sprinkle with salt then drain on paper towels.
- Place fish in a frying pan with scallion, some of the dill, salt and pepper and milk. Poach until fish begins to flake. Remove and let cool.
- Wash and drain cucumber and dry. In another bowl, mix mayonnaise with sour cream or yogurt. Stir in cucumber and fish. Garnish with olives and cucumber ribbons.
(I adapted this recipe from Food & Wine. It makes eight servings.)
1 pound fresh, skinless snapper, bass, halibut or other fish fillet, cut in half-inch pieces
1 1/2 cups fresh lime juice
1 medium white onion, chopped into half-inch pieces
2 medium-large tomatoes chopped into half-inch pieces
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
1/3 cup chopped pitted green olives
1 to 2 tbsp olive oil
salt to taste
3 tbsp fresh orange juice
1 large or 2 small peeled, pitted, diced avocados
tortilla chips for serving
- Combine fish, lime juice and onion in a glass or stainless steel bowl. Add more lime juice to cover fish and allow it to float freely. Cover and refrigerate four hours until a piece of fish, when broken open, no longer looks raw.
- In a large bowl, mix together tomatoes, cilantro, olives and olive oil. Stir in fish and salt. Add orange juice, cover and refrigerate if not serving immediately. Before serving, stir in avocados. Serve with tortilla chips or crackers.
HORSERADISH WHIPPED CREAM SAUCE
1 tsp prepared mustard
6 tbsp horseradish
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 cup whipped heavy cream
- Combine mustard, horseradish, salt and pepper. Let stand 15 minutes.
- Fold in whipped cream.
PIQUANT HERB SAUCE
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup parsley sprigs
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 small quartered onion
2 large garlic cloves
2 1/2 tsp dried crushed tarragon
1/4 tsp dried crushed chervil
pepper to taste
1 cup mayonnaise
- Place white wine, parsley, white vinegar, onion, garlic, tarragon, chervil and pepper in blender cover and blend until uniform.
- In a saucepan, stir over medium heat until reduced to 1/3 cup.
- Strain, return to saucepan, stir in mayonnaise. Heat until warm. Garnish with chopped parsley.
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup chopped parsley
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 large minced garlic cloves
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp kosher salt
- Mix all ingredients in a blender.
DILL CREAM SAUCE
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 dill sprigs
2 medium minced shallots
1 cup unsalted pareve chicken soup
1 1/4 cups whipping cream
salt & pepper to taste
2 tbsp snipped fresh dill
- Combine wine, dill sprigs and shallots in saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Add pareve chicken soup and cook to reduce to two tablespoons.
- Stir in cream, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Cook until thick, about seven minutes. Before dishing out, stir in dill and serve hot.
Sybil Kaplan is a journalist, lecturer, book reviewer and food writer in Jerusalem. She created and leads the weekly English-language Shuk Walks in Machane Yehuda, she has compiled and edited nine kosher cookbooks.