This month, we give you a straightforward and delicately flavored recipe to help balance a season of heartier holiday meals.
Arctic char has a similar texture to salmon and a milder, cleaner flavor. A gentle sauté in olive oil helps preserve the fish’s fatty acids. Serve next to a mound of lemony arugula and steamed grains.
Why We Love this Recipe:
We might not automatically think of pairing fish with raisins, though the combination is classically Mediterranean. The slightly saline flavor of Arctic char stands up beautifully to the fruity raisins. Earthy, herbal thyme adds an element of interest without overpowering.
DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) are Omega-3 essential fatty acids found in high concentrations in cold-water fish like Arctic char. Both EPA and DHA are critical for brain and retinal health. EFAs play an integral role in the synthesis and function of brain neurotransmitters. Our bodies don’t produce essential fatty acids, so they must be obtained from the diet.
In one study comparing the phytoprotective properties of grapes, sundried raisins, and golden raisins, golden raisins were found to have the highest antioxidant capacity and phenolic content. Antioxidants protect our cells from free radicals and their potentially damaging effects.
Arctic Char with Raisins and Thyme
12 ounces sustainably sourced Arctic char
3 T olive oil
2 sprigs fresh thyme (make sure to use fresh; dried is too strong for this recipe)
handful of golden raisins
sea salt to taste
fresh black pepper to taste
1) First, prep your fish. Rinse and pat dry with paper towels. Then, gently remove any pin bones with a pair of tweezers. Chop char into 1-inch pieces and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
2) Then, add raisins to a bowl and cover with hot water to allow them to plump up and soften.
2) Pour olive oil into a cold sauté pan and turn heat to medium-low.
3) Once olive oil has had a chance to heat, add thyme sprigs and Arctic char to sauté pan.
4) Gently sauté char until it is just barely cooked through, stirring a few times to cook all sides evenly. Keep heat to medium-low. Oil should never come close to burning.
5) Once fish is cooked, remove from pan with a pair of tongs, leaving any extra olive oil behind.
6) Place cooked char on a plate, drain raisins, and scatter them over top of the char.