Seared Fish with Beet Salsa

“I made this with cod, but you can also use a firmer fish, which you can grill or broil as well as sear and bake, as I do in this recipe. Cut the beets and apple very small – about 1/8 inch dice. The sweet crunch of the apple contributes texture and juice to the tangy/pungent salsa, which is delicious with all sorts of foods, not just fish. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, try it with grains; it’s especially nice with red quinoa.” – Martha Rose Shulman, New York Times Heath section

For the salsa:
3 medium or 4 small beets, roasted, peeled and cut in very small dice (smaller than 1/4 inch) (about 1 cup very small dice)
2 to 3 serrano or jalapeño chiles, minced (optional?)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (more to taste)
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (more to taste)
2 tablespoons minced shallot or chives (optional)
1/2 small tart apple, cored and cut in very small dice (smaller than 1/4 inch)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

For the fish:
1 1/2 pounds cod fillets (or other light-fleshed fish of your choice, like halibut or tilapia)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon sunflower oil, grapeseed oil or extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lime

1. Combine all of the ingredients for the salsa in a medium bowl. Stir together, taste and adjust salt. Set aside for 30 minutes or longer.

2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Season the fish with salt and pepper. Heat a heavy ovenproof skillet over high heat and add the oil. Tilt the pan to film the bottom. Add the fish fillets and cook for 1 minute, or until you can easily slide a spatula underneath and turn the fish over (you may have to do this in two batches so that you don’t crowd the fish).

3. Turn the fish over and place in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillet (5 minutes per 1/2 inch thickness), until the fish is opaque and can be pulled apart with the tines of a fork. Remove from the heat and transfer to plates or a platter. Squeeze lime juice over each piece of fish and serve, garnishing each serving with a generous spoonful of salsa.

– The New York Times, 10/7/13

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