I must applaud one of our readers, Ruth, who emailed us last week asking for more paleo recipes. So Carissa and I have been busy doing just that: creating the best paleo recipes in our home kitchen in Tampa Florida.
We’ve had a lot of fun filming too.
THE BEST PALEO RECIPE IS SIMPLE.
Simplicity is key.
Today I wanted to show you an ultrafast, very simple recipe. We’re talking 5 ingredients or so.
You see, I’m always interested in simple paleo recipes. Not complicated recipes that require dozens of ingredients, most of them you may not have or even heard of. What’s the point?
The point, really, is to put dinner on the table. You (and Ruth!) are interested in making dinner fast. Who has time to slave away for a couple of hours in the kitchen, make a mess, and waste your precious time. No. Thanks but no thanks.
You also want it to be delicious for everyone in your family to enjoy. Life is short. Food is gorgeous and plentiful and healthful. Let’s enjoy great food together.
BEST INGREDIENTS FOR THIS PALEO RECIPE
As I said, only 5 ingredients: trout (which can be substituted by salmon; or any other fish, really.), tomatoes, hearts of palm, lime, and extra-virgin olive oil.
You see, every time you limit the number of ingredients, you need to make sure these ingredients are top notch and just delicious.
Make sure the trout is fresh, has a nice color, does not smell. Remember, a smell (any smell!) is bad news for a fish.
You will want a thicker fish. Why?.. Well first of all, a thicker fish is nicer to bite on. It just is. But mainly, the thicker the fish, the easier it is for you to cook it right. If your fish is super fresh, you can cook it medium-rare or even rare. But regardless of how you like it cooked, if the piece of trout is thick, heat will travel slower from the outside in, dramatically increasing what I call your “window of opportunity”. By that I mean that the amount of time between undercooking and overcooking your fish is greater. More forgiving if you will.
Bright, red, looking beautiful, juicy. In this recipe, these are just sliced and barely dressed with a good olive oil, salt and pepper. So it’s important to make sure the tomatoes are perfectly tasty. If you can find heirloom tomatoes where you are, go for it.
Hearts of Palm
I remember the first time I tasted fresh (not in a can) hearts of palm from Hawaii. Amazing stuff. I could not believe the difference.
Having said that, canned hearts of palm are fine. They have what we call a umami flavor, and are great with salads.
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
As discussed ingredients are important for this simple paleo recipe. So a nice extra-virgin olive oil to simply dress the tomatoes is key. Make sure it’s extra virgin. If it doesn’t say it, then it’s not.
Make an effort to find a small production olive oil. How would you know? It’s probably a brand you don’t know, usually made by micro factories or small estates.
Taste it! Tasting olive oil is the best thing you can do to choose the one.
HOW TO MAKE THIS PALEO RECIPE
Here is the technique. The way you have to see it, is that you have the fish, and then you have the salad. The trout is simply seared, and if necessary (thick) will be finished in the oven.
Searing is easy. But you need to know this:
- Make sure the pan is hot
- A wide cast-iron skillet is best
- Only add a little oil. Trout is fatty and will release some natural fat.
- Make sure the fish is dry. Pat dry with paper towels if necessary, in order to remove water.
- Do not move the trout in the pan. The goal is to let a nice golden crust build. If you keep moving the trout in the pan, then the wonderful, delicious crust won’t get a chance to build.
- Sear the presentation down first.
- Searing is just building a nice crust. Then the fish may need to be finished in the oven.
The salad is simply sliced tomatoes, sliced hearts of palms, that are dressed with a bit of extra-virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, and lime juice.
I explain this paleo recipe right into this video:
PALEO RECIPE: SEARED TROUT, TOMATOES, AND HEARTS OF PALM SALAD
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 lime
- 4 5–6-ounce skinless, boneless trout fillets
- kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
- 2 pounds mixed heirloom tomatoes, sliced in half
- ½ cup sliced drained hearts of palm
- torn basil leaves (for serving)
Prepare a cast iron skillet for searing. Finely grate 1 tsp. lemon zest directly onto trout and lightly drizzle with oil; season with salt and pepper. Sear trout in the skillet at medium high, turning once, until golden browned on both sides and just opaque in the center, about 5 minutes. Finish in the oven at 350F for about 10 minutes if the piece is thick.
Meanwhile, combine tomatoes, hearts of palm, and ¼ cup oil in a medium bowl; squeeze in 2 Tbsp. juice from lemon and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
Toss basil into tomato salad. Serve trout with tomatoes and dressing spooned over.
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