Serious Eats: Recipes

Dinner Tonight: Baked Fish with Savory Bread Crumbs

As Lidia Bastianich explains in Lidia Cooks From the Heart of Italy, the landlocked region of Umbria sounds like it shares a lot of similarities with the Midwest. She writes that Umbria may "not have a seafood cuisine," but it does "abound in freshwater fish," and this simple preparation is one way the people of that region cook what they catch. It works best with mild whitefish or carp, though if you do live by an ocean, she explains that you can use "light ocean-fish fillets like sole." There you go.

Though easy to prepare, the dish is anything but basic. The breadcrumbs are heavily seasoned with lemon zest, oregano, parsley, and red pepper flakes. This gives each bite a great citrus note, along with a little spicy kick.

If that weren't enough, a dressing of sorts is added to the baking dish so the fillets are also perfumed by white wine and lemon juice. But it's not too much; the fish fillets come out balanced but not rich. It's a wonderful summer meal, especially when served with a simple panzanella salad.

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