It’s amazing what a tasty dish can be made from fresh fish and spinach. Fast and easy to cook, fish looks good and is extremely nutritious. If you like to be creative in the kitchen, you can choose different variations for the filling, spinach with feta cheese, spinach with mushrooms, onions, leeks, peppers, tomatoes, etc. In this recipe, we used spinach with pine nuts. It is a pleasant and healthy combination, as pine nuts are crunchy, with hint of pine, slightly sweet and delicious. Pine nuts are a good source of nutrients, essential minerals, vitamins and mono-unsaturated fatty acids that help reduce cholesterol levels in the blood.
2 fillets of bass, tilapia or other slim fresh fish
500 g (1 lb) spinach, well washed and stems removed
5 mL (1 tsp) salt
2 mL (1/2 tsp) mixture of grounded black pepper and crushed red pepper
15 mL (1 tbsp) olive oil
15 mL (1 tbsp) pine nuts (if not available chopped mushrooms can be used)
5 mL (1 tsp) lemon juice
Few twigs of green herbs (parsley, dill, oregano, etc)
250 g (1/2 lb) strained tomatoes
Sliced peppers (optional)
2 cloves of garlic chopped
15 mL (1 tbsp) olive oil
Season the fish fillets with salt and the spice mixture, then put them in the refrigerator for at least one hour, so the fish will become slightly fragrant.
Preheat oven to 180º C (350º F).
Using a pan, warm 15 mL (1 tbsp) of oil at medium heat, then add the pine nuts for about 15 to 20 seconds until their colour changes. Add the spinach leaves and sauté for 2-3 minutes, until the leaves are soft. Remove pan from heat, add a little salt and pepper, sprinkle with lemon juice and set aside to cool.
Place the spinach filling over one fillet, and then roll it from one end. Place the roll with the end down (to prevent rolling back) in a heat resistant dish or tray. Repeat the same with the other roll.
Before putting the dish in the oven, pour some olive oil over the rolls. Bake for 15 minutes. If the fillets are thick try them first to be sure they are cooked, and if they are not done, put them back in the oven for another couple of minutes. Do not overcook to avoid drying out the fish.
Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. Add the chopped garlic and few rings of pepper in medium heated oil and sauté for less than one minute. Add the tomato juice. Allow to simmer for about 10 minutes, and then season with salt and pepper.
Sprinkle chopped herbs over the baked fish rolls, and then pour the sauce over. The fish rolls can be served with rice, potatoes or salad.