Almond Herb Crusted Baked Fish is an incredibly flavorful healthy Persian fish preparation, steeped in herbs, spices, and adorned with tiny red berries.
This recipe uses a variety of herbs and some spices, which would ideally work well with a mild flavored fish such as – whiting, tilapia, cat fish etc. You could use Salmon or Trout too.
Almonds add a certain richness, texture and a nutrition punch, of course! I have used the beautiful barberries here and what can I say about them! Just read on and the next thing is that you may find yourself going to the market to buy them and make this Almond Herb Crusted Baked Fish!!
Barberries are sweet and sour berries that are available in their dried form in Persian and Middle eastern stores with the Persian name – “Zereshk”. These berries, that look like tiny ruby red jewels are a very important part of Persian cuisine, giving a vibrant presentation to many classic dishes, and imparting tiny bursts of tangy flavor. I am surely in love with these dried berries and use them often.
For centuries, barberries have been used in traditional medicine for their therapeutic effects. Several studies have been carried out and research still continues. These tasty berries are a rich source of phytochemicals with a varied number of purported attributes – antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic, hypolipidemic, hypoglycemic and such.
Some studies showed that barberries actually increase insulin sensitivity, inhibit adipogenesis and therefore act as a hypoglycemic and anti-obesity agent. Suffice it to say, that these berries seem to not only add incredible taste to dishes but also a potential health benefit.
Fish is a healthy lean protein option. Herbs, of course add a lot of taste and health benefit. And, as for Almonds, I have discussed about these nutritious nuts in my post about Anise Almond Honey Biscotti and have used it for Rose Rice Custard with Pomegranate Jelly and Saffron Yogurt Rice with Chicken, Spinach and Prunes.
And the bonus is that it does not even take much time to make this incredible Almond Herb Crusted Baked Fish for your family!!
Photography above: bijansviewfinder.com
Almond Herb Crusted Baked Fish
- 4 fillet whiting or cat fish (1 pound)
- 3/4 to 1 teaspoon salt (adjust per taste)
- 2 to 2½ tablespoons olive oil
- 1 to 2 cloves garlic grated
- 3 tablespoons cilantro chopped
- 3 tablespoons dill chopped
- 3 tablespoons green onions chopped
- 3 tablespoons parsley chopped
- 1/4 cup almonds ground
- 2 tablespoons barberries * dried
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes * or 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander ground
- 2 pinches saffron * (ground and dissolved in 1 tbsp hot water)
- Pat dry the cleaned and rinsed fish. Season with half the salt.
- Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet. Sauté the garlic just couple minutes, making sure not to brown, add the herbs and sauté few minutes until they wilt.
- Add the ground almonds, 1¾ tablespoons barberries*, lemon juice, red pepper flakes*, coriander powder, remaining salt and stir the mixture.
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Lay the fish fillet on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Dot the almond herb mixture all over the fillet and evenly spread it. Sprinkle the remaining oil and 3/4 tablespoon saffron* water.
- Bake in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes until the fish flakes. The time varies with the fish and the thickness of the fillets. Once done, garnish with the remaining barberries and saffron water.
- Adjust seasoning and lemon juice to your taste. Serve this Almond Herb Crusted Baked Fish with Rice.