The health quotient of this dish is a bit off the charts.
Lean protein from fish, plus fiber and vitamins and minerals from the greens all add up to a beyond-healthful dinner. Double-down on that and serve a side of brown rice or quinoa or bulgur for some whole-grain goodness and you just may live forever (okay, now I’ve gone way too far). My favorite thing about this dish as a cook, however, is that is both insanely easy and quick to make—less than half an hour, so perfect for a weeknight—and it tastes fabulous. The people in my house tend to add a hefty dose of hot sauce before oohing and aahing about how much they like it. I prefer a spritz of lemon and a sprinkle of chile flakes or, even better, Aleppo pepper, to highlight the delicate flavor of the fish and complementing the earthiness of the greens. We each can easily eat it exactly as we like.
Fish Steamed on Greens
- 1 bunch about 1 pound kale, collards, or other cooking greens
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes optional
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt divided
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth dry white wine, or water
- 2 pounds skinless white fish fillet see headnote
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Lemon wedges
- Peel and thinly slice the garlic.
- In a deep frying pan, sauté pan, or wide pot over medium-high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter or heat the oil. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, if using. Cook, stirring, until just barely turning golden, about 2 minutes. Add the greens, with whatever water is still clinging to their leaves, and sprinkle them with half of the salt. Stir or toss the greens until they start to wilt, about 1 minute.
- Add the broth, wine, or water, cover, and cook until the greens are tender, about 10 minutes.
- Remove the lid and stir the greens. There should be just a bit of liquid in the bottom of the pan; if not, add 2 tablespoons of water.
- Set the fish on the greens. Sprinkle the fish with the remaining salt, as well as black pepper to taste. Dot the tops of the fillets with the remaining butter or drizzle with the remaining oil. Cover and cook until the fish is cooked through; 10 minutes per inch of thickness should do it.
- Transfer to plates or shallow bowls and serve with wedges of lemon for spritzing.