Lemon and Harissa White Fish with Eggplant and Spiced Yogurt

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Whenever you return from traveling for pleasure, there are indicators that reveal how good of a time you’ve had while away. There are the photos you’ve taken, souvenirs you’ve purchased, stories you share with your friends and family. Most importantly, there is vacation body. It’s when you go away for an extended period of time and return slightly larger than you were when you left.

Vacation body is real, folks. And for me, it is the best way to gage how good of a time I’ve had whenever I’m away, mainly because food makes me happy. And so when my husband and I returned from Buenos Aires, without stepping on the scale, I could tell our time in South America was absolutely joyous.

Now that we are back, I have reunited with my lovely kitchen and am doing what I love to do. This has given me control over what we eat and how things are prepared, and I’ve taken advantage of that with this recipe I share with you today.

This Lemon and Harissa White Fish with Eggplant and Spiced Yogurt is the vibrant and healthy dish my body was craving ever since I returned back home. It is light and layered with an array of flavors that play off of one another perfectly. It is also very easy to make, which allows this dish to be the perfect entrée for any occasion.

So if you’ve just returned from a vacation and need a little culinary inspiration to get back on the healthy track, or you’re just interested in cooking something new for a change, check out this recipe. If it wasn’t for the fact that I knew my husband was looking forward to sharing this dish with me, I would’ve devoured the entire thing. It’s just that delicious!

Lemon and Harissa White Fish with Eggplant and Spiced Yogurt

(recipe serving size – 3 people)

For the fish:

3 white fish filets

2 sprigs fresh oregano, chopped (1 packed tb)

4 basil leaves, chopped

2 cloves garlic, smashed

1 tsp harissa

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/4 tsp cracked black pepper

1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Juice and zest of 1 lemon

Blend the ingredients in a food processor and coat the pieces of fish with the marinade. Reserve 1 to 2 tb of the marinade for a final drizzle once the dish is put together.

Marinate the fish for 1 hour in the refrigerator.

For the eggplant:

1 eggplant, three thick slices lengthwise

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp cracked black pepper

1-2 tb olive oil.

Preheat your oven to 250 degrees.

Heat 1 tb of olive oil over medium heat in saute pan. Sprinkle the slices of eggplant with the salt and pepper. Cook the eggplant for 3-4 minutes on each side until browned. Replenish the oil if you are cooking the eggplant in batches.

Place the eggplant on a baking sheet. Cover with foil and place in the eggplant in the oven to keep warm.

For the yogurt topping:

7 oz greek yogurt

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1 clove garlic, finely minced

1/2 tsp harissa

Combine the ingredients in a small bowl and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Cooking the fish:

Marinated white fish

1-2 tb olive oil

Heat the oil in a large sauté pan. Cook the fish for about 4 minutes on each side until cooked through.

Bringing it all together:

1/3 cup slivered almonds (optional)

Fresh oregano leaves for garnish

Toast the almonds in a pan over medium-high heat until slightly browned (5-7 minutes). Place the slices of eggplant on a large platter and gently lay one white fish filet on each slice. Add a healthy dollop of spiced yogurt to each piece of fish. Drizzle with some of the leftover marinade and sprinkle with the toasted almond slivers, fresh oregano leaves and a dusting of harissa.

Serve while warm and enjoy!

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