Last week I broke one of my time saving rules and roasted a whole fish on a weeknight. Truth be told, I wanted to lure my husband back to the dinner table. Although we’ve both been working long hours, he typically arrives later and has fallen into a habit of grabbing food at the office and skipping dinner. In favor of a late evening snack.
I want the whole family eating dinner together every night. It’s something I care about, even though it’s not always possible. And yes, with young kids, it’s also not very relaxing … but the routine and connection of it feels right. I believe it matters and persist, despite everyone else’s resistance.
My hubby loves whole fish and I decided to roast one, along with lemons and onions, for a lovely spring salad. Yes, he did join us … at the table… for the whole meal. Small victories!
Time it will take:
All in, about 30 – 35 minutes of mostly hands-off time. Typically I would do this on a weekend versus a busy weeknight.
This will feed a family of four once. Although when you’re prepping the veggies, cut double and save half in airtight containers for the following night.)
- I serve the fish on the side along with two vegetables (grape tomatoes and mini-cucumbers for my daughter, carrots and mini-cucumbers for my son.)
- You’ll notice I made pasta for my kids, a concession having served them grains they don’t like as much (cous cous, followed by barley) in the days prior. Go with whatever grain choice works for your kiddos.
- One medium sized onion (sliced into even-sized rounds, each about 1/4 inch thick.)
- One lemon, sliced into thin rounds (each about 1/8 inch thick.)
- 1 large whole fish cleaned (I used snapper this time, but works with the whole fish of your choice, i.e. bass or trout if it’s large enough to feed your family. If not or if you’re entertaining, you can double the recipe and roast two.)
- 1/2 cup of cherry or grape tomatoes sliced in half lengthwise (Optional)
- 2 large carrots peeled and cut into carrot sticks or rounds.
- 2 mini-cucumbers.
Steps to put this on your table:
- Roast the fish:
- Pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a large roasting pan, place the onions in a row, ideally 2 by 2 to become a large enough ‘bed’ to roast your fish on top of.
- Place the fish onto the onions and then put all of the lemon slices into the fish cavity.
- Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper (optional) and salt (about 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons, I used Pink Himalayan sea salt, my latest salt-obsession.)
- Place the pan in the oven, roast for 20 minutes (checking for doneness at this point) if using the tomatoes, add them to the pan carefully (remove it from the oven first) and then roast for an addition 5 – 10 minutes. The fish is ‘done’ when it flakes easily using a fork and pulls away from the bone without resistance, depending on the size of your fish, it will take 25 – 30 minutes.
2. Assemble the salads and kids plates while the fish is in the oven:
Salads (for the grownups and any salad-loving kids)
- Make a quick balsamic vinaigrette.
- Add about 3/4 cup of baby spinach leaves to each salad plate.
- Once the fish comes out of the oven, put roasted onions and grape tomatoes on top of each salad.
- Pour the vinaigrette on top.
- Then add the fish.
- Squeeze a small amount of the roasted lemon (remove seeds first) onto the fish.
Kid plates (1 serving of a grain and 2 veggies of choice on the side)
- Add a small amount according to appetite (I used about 1/4 cup of fish for each child) to the side of the kids plates.
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Tags: dinners for families with kids, family dinner recipes, family meals, food for families, Healthy dinners, Kid friendly cooking