This time of year finds many foodies of the Christian persuasion digging through recipe books and searching online for fish recipes.
The 40-day period (excluding Sundays) before Easter marks the season of Lent on the Christian calendar. Many Christians give up something during this time as a remembrance of the sacrifice Christ made. In that same spirit, abstinence from meat is practiced on Fridays, the day of Christ's crucifixion.
Growing up, I remember always eating fish on Fridays. It was usually a simple mild white fish with some sort of sauce. On nights with a babysitter, it might be the dreaded fish sticks, which I smothered with ketchup.
But even though the point of this observance is to deprive yourself the indulgence of meat, the meal doesn't have to taste bad.
This simple recipe highlights approaching Spring by using leeks for a subtle onion flavor. The brilliant green of the leeks contrasts beautifully with the soft pink of the shrimp for a quick, light dinner.
I used shrimp that I already had in the freezer. The most time-consuming thing about this dish was peeling the thawed shrimp. Next time, I'll buy them already shelled. To me, it's worth the extra couple of dollars.
Don't miss adding the lemon zest. Lemon is often used to brighten a dish, and this one is no exception. The citrus adds a layer of flavor that melds with the earthy leeks and seasoned shrimp. Also, be sure to use a quality olive oil.
For salmon lovers, I think this dish also would work well with a poached salmon filet. The colors would be lovely, and the delicate flavors would not overwhelm the salmon.
Another option is to try a vegetarian dish. I adore this easily prepared that I posted earlier this year. Here are some other recipes:
- Vegetable Confetti Soup
- Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce
- Easy Tilapia with Tomatoes and Capers
- Macaroni with Quattro Formaggi (one of my personal favorites)
Of course, if you are a vegetarian, then forgoing meat on Fridays isn't a sacrifice. Maybe try abstaining from a favorite thing you enjoy regularly, such as pasta, chocolate or wine.
The spirit of Lent is remembrance, so however you recognize this time of year, take the time to ponder its meaning.