Although you rarely see zander in English fishmongers, they are a common sight in fish markets across Europe, along with a whole host of other coarse fish that many British anglers wouldn’t even think were edible.
My mother-in-law is Polish and every year we celebrate Wigilia – the traditional Christmas Eve vigil supper – with her. Fish dishes comprise the main component of this meal and recently we trialled this recipe as a possible centre piece dish for the celebrations. It came out really well. The fillets were beautiful and crisp on the outside and the pure, white flakes of the flesh not dissimilar to cod or haddock.
Lay the zander fillets in a glass dish and marinade with salt, pepper, capers, rosemary and lemon juice. Thinly slice the cabbage, spinach and radishes and sauté (fry) in butter with a little garlic until soft. Melt a generous knob of butter in a frying pan. While the butter is melting, slice the fillet in to smaller pieces and fry the pieces for 3-5 minutes until golden brown on each side. Serve the fish with wedges of lemon and the sautéed vegetables. I also served mine with boiled new potatoes with a few chopped spring onions and dill, and, of course, a big glass of chilled white wine (in this case a rather tasty Turkish white wine).
- Zander fillets
- New potatoes
- Spring onions
- Kavaklidere Winery Selection Narince – Emir, 2014