INVOLTINI DI PESCE (Rolled fish: Fish fillets rolled around a herb stuffing)

There is a sense of celebration associated with eating fish and this recipe for rolled fish could be a good starter to a meal – great for any of these festive occasions.

Whiting roll ups

It is Christmas eve and I intend making these as a starter tonight. It will be a menu of all fish in keeping with the Italian tradition of abstaining from meat; this is a left over practice from days when Catholics did not eat meat during certain days in Advent, a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus.

Xmas baubles

These little morsels are fish fillets rolled around a light stuffing– only herbs, lemon peel and garlic are used. Fillets of small fish (with skin on) are suitable: anything from mild-flavoured whiting, stronger tasting flathead to even stronger oilier fish such as mullet or sardines. They can be pan-fried in a  non stick frypan with  a little butter or extra virgin olive oil and then eaten with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. You may also wish to deglaze the pan with a little white wine or use orange juice (juice of 2 oranges), these will provide a ready-made sauce. For the orange juice option you could use fresh basil as the herb for the stuffing.

I have made these little rolls many times. Sometimes I have deglazed the pan with Marsala (dry), or white wine. I have also used tarragon as my herb and used vermouth. An alternative stuffing can be made using some breadcrumbs (made from 1 day old, sour dough bread), toast them in a  frypan with a little extra virgin olive oil. To these add a little minced garlic, chopped parsley, grated lemon peel, a sprinkling of sugar and a little nutmeg. Pine nuts and currants can also be added to this stuffing.

Fish fillets rolled around a herb stuffing is one of the recipes is in my book, Small Fishy Bites.

small_fishy_bites_high res

 INGREDIENTS AND PROCESSES
6 fish fillets from small fish, I used King George whiting
fresh herbs for stuffing (rosemary, parsley, oregano or marjoram)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil or butter or a mixture of both
salt and freshly ground pepper
fresh bay leaves
grated peel of 1 orange or lemon
Flatten each fillet; if using large fillets, cut into smaller strips. Sprinkle each with a little salt and pepper.
Chop the herbs finely and leave a small sprig to insert at one end of the fish rolls (for decoration).
Mix the herbs, garlic and peel with 1 tablespoon of olive oil (or soft butter- this is less Sicilian). Place a little of the stuffing at one end of each fillet and roll up. Secure each roll with a toothpick and place a sprig of herbs at one end.
Sauté fish rolls in remaining extra virgin olive oil and /or the butter.
Add a little seasoning and bay leaves and continue to cook the fish until it is ready.
Serve with a squeeze of lemon.
Elena's Magi plate

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *