As a child, I spent a lot of time with my dad on his oyster farm in Edgartown. I didn’t enjoy oysters as much as steamers or quahogs, but I slurped them down with everyone else until they finally grew on me. Fresh, local oysters, mussels, clams, and fish were something I took for granted until college, when I found myself landlocked in a place where canned tuna and frozen shrimp were the only seafood around. Since returning to the Vineyard, I make sure to take advantage of our abundant, locally harvested seafood whenever I get the chance.
There are many healthy and tasty ways to prepare shellfish. As an alternative to fried fish, dip filets in egg and whole wheat breadcrumbs and bake for 15 minutes. Oysters can be opened and left on the half shell, dotted with a teaspoon of pesto, and baked at a low temperature. Mussels are delicious steamed in some water mixed with white wine, garlic, and onion, then served with toasted French bread. Scallops can be a great addition to a vegetable stir-fry, served over rice or pasta. And of course, all shellfish is delicious simply steamed until the shells pop open, and dipped in a little butter.
Simple Fish Ceviche
(Recipe by Gabrielle Chronister)
¼ cup lemon juice
¼ cup lime juice
½ tsp. sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 haddock, sea bass, or any white flakey fish filets
½ cup sweet onion, finely chopped
¼ cup fresh mango, chopped
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
If using raw fish: Mix the lemon juice, lime juice, salt, and pepper and soak the fish for 30 minutes to an hour. Cut the fish into small, ½-inch bites.
If using cooked fish: Preheat the oven to 400°F, and place fish filets in a lightly oiled baking dish. Sprinkle with some salt and pepper and bake for 12-15 minutes until fish is flakey and moist. When fish is done, let it cool completely and cut into small, ½-inch bites.
Place remaining ingredients in a medium bowl and toss together with the fish until well combined. Place in refrigerator to marinate until ready to eat. Serve with tortilla chips and sliced avocado. Enjoy!
Ava Castro is the preschool coordinator for Island Grown Schools, the Vineyard’s farm-to-school program.