Stacy Lyn Harris
One of the Best Bluegill Recipes!
An outing to the pond to catch a load of bluegill is one of the most rewarding activities that my family enjoys. Bream are usually extraordinarily abundant in many ponds throughout the South making it easy for kids and adults alike to catch them. (Bream, crappies and other pan-fish can be substituted in this delicious recipe). Just seeing the smile and confidence all over my children’s faces is reward enough, but at the dinner table eating Sweet Bluegill is icing on the cake.
Ingredients (serves 4):
- 1 lb. dandelions
- 2 cups orange juice, with pulp
- 3 tablespoons honey
- ½ cup raisins
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 8 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 8 fillets of bluegill
- ¼ cup flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
- In medium-sized saute pan, slowly add dandelions. Add strained orange juice, honey, and raisins. Set aside the orange juice pulp. The dandelions will shrink fairly quickly. Simmer until reduced by half. Season with salt and pepper.
- In a small bowl add 4 tablespoons of olive oil, vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Whisk until emulsified.
- In a small saucepan, heat the orange pulp until it releases juices. Add to vinaigrette mixture. Mix well.
- In large sauté pan heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil over high heat. Score the skin of the fillet twice. Season fish with salt and pepper. Place skin side down in pan until crispy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and cook 2 minutes more.
- Re-heat the greens. Stir in parsley. Place 1/4 of dandelion mixture on plate. Put a fillet of Bluegill on top. Drizzle vinaigrette and oil around fish. Serve immediately with warm French Bread.
Footnote: Dandelions are a great source of nutrition and great choice for salad greens!