The great pairing of fish with herbs provides a tasty and nutritious meal that is loaded with flavor and health benefits, and boasts a long history.

Cod has been an important commodity in the international market since the day of the Vikings. A staple of Norwegian diets during their long sea journeys, dried cod was introduced to southern Europe more than 1000 years ago.

The flesh of halibut is creamy white with a mildly sweet flavor. Like cod, it is moist and flaky if cooked properly. In this recipe, breading the fillets lends a wonderfully moist and somewhat crispy texture. You can ensure an even coating of flavor by mixing the herbs with the bread crumbs.

There are few dishes where the garnish is as important as fish fare, which is why both the lemon and the parsley in this recipe play vital roles. Renowned since ancient times, the powerful lemon helps to enliven the fish. The so-called "golden apples of the Hesperides" that Hercules famously fetched from dragon-guarded garden were in fact lemons.

But it took them a while to catch on. Even as late as the 15th century, lemons were still a curious luxury, enjoyed by a relative few.

They are an concentrated source of vitamin C and also contain vitamins A and B and potassium. When buying, choose lemons with smooth skins that are free from bruises. Lemons are best stored at room temperature. Placing the lemon in hot water for a couple of minutes before using helps extract even more juice.

More from our magazine:  Braised Cod With Leeks

Garnishing with parsley adds a nice splash of color. And remember: A nibble of the green stuff after eating can help freshen your breath.

Baked Fish with Herbs

Makes 4 servings.

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 pounds firm white fish fillets (halibut or cod work well)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2cup fine dry bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/8 tsp. dried sage
  • 1 tsp. dried parsley
  • Vegetable oil
  • cooking spray
  • 1 Tbsp. melted butter
  • Fresh parsley and lemon wedge garnish

Directions

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  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Wash fish fillets and gently pat dry. Season fish with salt and pepper.
  3. Beat egg and set aside. Mix herbs into bread crumbs and set aside.
  4. Spray baking dish with vegetable oil.
  5. Melt butter.
  6. Gently dip fillets into beaten egg and then into seasoned bread crumbs.
  7. Arrange fish on sprayed baking dish. Drizzle fillets with melted butter. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until fish flakes with a fork.
  8. Garnish with parsley and lemon and serve immediately.

Nutritional Information Per Serving:
275 calories
9 g total fat
3 g saturated fat
10 g carbohydrate
37 g protein
1 g dietary fiber
370 mg sodium