Nick Usner’s Pan-Fried Fish with Squash Salsa

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Pan-fried fish with squash salsa

Okay, don’t tell my husband, but I’m kind of wondering why I have all my cookbooks.  See, all mine are packed away, except for a milk crate full of favorites.  In the chaos that is my house right now, I find it so much easy to just go to Real Simple, or Martha Stewart, or Epicurious, or Eating Well and just find and print off a recipe. 

It’s crazy easy.  Last week, I found myself with an abundance of squash (I’m sure there are lots of you with this same lovely predicament), so I just went to a few favorite sites, typed in squash or zucchini and within minutes had a stack of printed off recipes.  Hugely quicker than going to my books, pulling them off the shelf, searching through the index, looking at the recipe, and then repeating about twenty times till I found the one I wanted.  I’m concerned.  What is going to happen when I finally unpack all my cookbooks.  Are they going to be dusty and unloved?  What does it say about me that even while feeling all this, I went and added two new cookbooks to my wishlist on Amazon? 

pan-fried fish with squash salsa

So anyway, one of the recipes I found was, Nick Usner’s Pan-Fried Fish with Squash Salsa at Real Simple.  This was wonderful.  Quick and easy and delightfully fresh.  The only thing I changed was that I used a tablespoon of my hot chili oil to spice up the salsa a bit and I used an entire small red onion. 

Nick Usner’s Pan-Fried Fish with Squash Salsa

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced
  • 1 medium summer squash, diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 small red onion, chopped
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 4 3- to 4-ounce skinless catfish fillets

    Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the zucchini, squash, bell pepper, onion, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and cook, tossing occasionally, until just tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate and refrigerate until cool. Wipe out the skillet.

    In a medium bowl, toss the cooled vegetables with the vinegar, parsley, basil, and 2 tablespoons of the oil.

    Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in the skillet over medium-high heat. Season the fish with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper and cook until opaque throughout, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Serve with the salsa.

    Serves 4


    This will be my entry for Two For Tuesdays!


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    1. says

      I know!! I almost never use cookbooks. I only ever really used to flick through for inspiration from photos, but now I’m much more likely to bookmark something from a favourite blog.

    2. says

      Um. So are you going to tell us which cookbooks you wish listed?

      I use this program on the internet called Eat Your Books. Basically, you register and then give it a list of all the cookbooks you own. Then you can search it for ingredients or recipe names and it will tell you which recipes in which cookbooks use those ingredients. Pretty awesome.

      Just as awesome as this squash salsa. I promise.

    3. says

      Gorgeous fish Pam. I love the squash salsa. I have a ton of cookbooks too, but won’t part with even one of them. I don’t know how you could have most of yours packed away. I would be constantly going through the boxes looking for one.

      I like to use the internet too to look for recipes. I’m intrigued by Joanne’s comment concerning Eat Your Books. I have to look into that.

    4. says

      I too do the same thing. Amazing how the internet has made my life so much easier. Well… for the most part anyhow. 😉 My go to site is Food Network I have about 4 different chefs that I follow and then there’s Martha Stewart’s Everyday Foods. And of course, Epiurious. But I DO LOVE the feel of a good cookbook in my hands. And I also have a ton of them! 😉

      Hmmm, I like the sound of Eat Your Books. I am looking into that! Thanks Joanne for that info!

    5. Linda says

      I have to give another shout-out to Eat Your Books. I have hundreds of cookbooks (it’s an occupational hazard–I’m a librarian) and since I’ve joined, I’ve found some great recipes in cookbooks I wouldn’t have thought to look in. I’ve also used a few cookbooks that I’ve never cooked from before, which of course, further justifies why I bought them (or at least that’s what I tell my husband.)

    6. says

      I have a bunch of cookbooks, although nowhere near as many as you do, and I find myself going to the same few over and over. Joanne’s Eat Your Books program sounds intriguing, doesn’t it? Not as intriguing as your squash salsa, of course, but it’s squash season now.

    7. says

      I love cookbooks too but usually use them as entertainment when I’m relaxing or riding in a car. When I’m hunting for a recipe, I’m guilty of going the online route too… so much quicker!

      Great looking fish and salsa… so healthy!

    8. says

      It’s so true – when I plan the weekly meals its so much easier searching for a recipe with seasonal ingredients than having to go through so many cookbooks – but even though I hardly use them, if I stumble upon a particularly pretty one I can’t help but buy it…

      Real Simple is a great resource and this dish looks fab

    9. says

      now that is a wonderful plate! the fish with that beautiful squash salsa! I am going to have to try that squash salsa for sure!
      I too have a ton of cookbooks that are mostly for my viewing pleasure (the covers that is).

    10. says

      I think of my cookbooks as novels – to be read and enjoyed over and over again. I love to see how my tastes and how I cook has changed over the years! The fish and salsa look delicious! Thanks for linking to Two for Tuesdays!

    11. says

      Now, squash is something I’d never thought of using in a salsa…but YUM! It looks great…and sounds even better with a bit of chile oil! I will never give up my trusty written cookbooks…I actually use them more than the web, if you can believe that. I turn to the web when I absolutely can’t find what I’m looking for in a book…or if I stumble on something accidentally…or am feeling overly lazy. Gorgeous, Pam! So glad you shared this w/ t4t this week =)

    12. says

      Hi Pammie! See, I am completely the opposite of you. I have three total cookbooks that I use and then any time i want to make something, I grab it off the net, so your post is totally speaking to me. I kind of laugh because I have a TON of cookbooks, but they are all for things like juicing, raw food, macrobiotics, and I simply do not use them anymore! My three and the net will do! My kids love tilapia and other white fish, so this might get made for my family really soon! Thanks for posting on the two for tuesday recipe blog hop. Alex@amoderatelife

    13. says

      Salsa! Now there’s one thing I’ve yet to make with all of the flippin’ yellow squash which are still dominating my garden. Thank you thank you thank you for giving me another way to serve them for T4T.

    14. says

      This salsa sounds so healthy and delicious! Great use of summer squash.

      For searching cookbooks, I use Eat Your Books. You do have to enter all your titles, but then you can do ingredient searches, and you get a list of recipe names and the books where they’re found. Love it!

    15. says

      Talk about killing two birds with one stone – that looks like a great way to use up some surplus squash and a great way to serve fish.

      Also loving everyone’s comments about Eat Your Books – I have to get into that – sounds brilliant.


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