Two Mediterranean Dinners: Just add Fish!

Want a double-whammy of healthy eating? Eat Mediterranean!

Italian researchers who reviewed international studies say that adherence to the Mediterranean diet may significantly reduce the risk of death from cancer, heart disease, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. The team reviewed 12 international studies that together included over 1.5 million people, whose eating habits and health were tracked over time. The results of the study tracking appeared in the British Medical Journal, and help confirm similar recommendations from the World Health Organization.


Eat like you’re in the Mediterranean…

The Mediterranean diet includes olive oil, grains, fruits, nuts, vegetables and fish, and is low in red meat, dairy products and alcohol. Fish provide a wide variety of vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A and D, phosphorus, magnesium, selenium, iodine and high quality protein—which helps build and repair body tissues. Canada’s Food Guide recommends Canadians eat two servings of fish per week.

Just add Fish


Two Mediterranean-themed recipes—Spinach and Feta Topped Catfish and Mediterranean Catfish with Gremolata Topping—can be made in minutes with ingredients you likely have on hand. And if you're missing something, get creative and try a substitution!


Buona Mangia!

Mediterranean Catfish with Gremolata Topping


Fresh tomato flavours combine perfectly with the lightly breaded catfish. A fresh zip of parsley and lemon finish off this colourful and easy meal.



Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 16 minutes

Servings: 4



4 tomatoes, cored and cut into ½ inch (1 cm) dice, about 4 cups (1 L)

2 tbsp (25 mL) minced red onion

1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped fresh parsley

3 tbsp (45 mL) extra virgin olive oil

¼ tsp (1 mL) each salt and pepper

2/3 cup (150 mL) dry breadcrumbs

4 U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish fillets, 6 to 8 oz (180 to 250 g) each

2 tbsp (25 mL) butter



Gremolata Topping:

2 tbsp (25 mL) chopped fresh parsley

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tsp (5 mL) finely grated lemon rind



In a bowl, combine tomatoes, red onion, parsley, 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the oil and half each of the salt and pepper; set aside.

Gremolata Topping: In a small bow, combine parsley, garlic and lemon rind; set aside.

In a shallow dish, combine breadcrumbs with remaining salt and pepper. Dredge catfish fillets on both sides in breadcrumb mixture.

Heat 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the remaining oil and half of the butter in large nonstick skillet over medium high heat and panfry 2 fillets for about 8 minutes, turning once or until golden and fish flakes when tested with a fork. Repeat with remaining oil, butter and catfish.

Divide tomato mixture onto 4 dinner plates and top with catfish. Sprinkle each with some of the Gremolata Topping before serving.



Spinach and Feta Topped Catfish


The Greek flavours of feta, oregano and spinach top eat catfish for a great vegetable serving so all you need is to serve it along with some rice for an easy weeknight meal.



Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Servings: 4



4 U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish fillets, 6 to 8 oz (180 to 250 g) each

½ tsp (2 mL) freshly ground black pepper

1 pkg (10 oz/285 g) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

¾ cup (175 mL) crumbled feta cheese

1 tbsp (15 mL) dried oregano leaves

3 tbsp (45 mL) butter, melted



Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C).


Place catfish fillets on parchment paper lined baking sheet and place catfish on pan. Sprinkle fillets with pepper.


In a bowl, stir together spinach, feta and oregano. Drizzle with butter and stir to combine. Divide mixture evenly on top of each fillet. Bake in centre of oven for about 15 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.

Tip: In a skillet, wilt 1 bag (10 oz/300 g) fresh baby spinach over medium high heat for about 3 minutes and drain well. Substitute for frozen spinach.