When you cook fish with vegetables, you save time and double the healthy benefits of your meal. Cooking the two foods together works with a variety of methods, from sauteing on the stove top to cooking soups and stews to baking. Some cooking methods, such as stir-frying, work best for firm, dense fish, while other methods, such as cooking soups, work with any sort of fish. Experiment with combinations of your favorite fish with your favorite vegetable to see what tastes good to you.
By the Bowlful
By definition, chowder contains both seafood and vegetables, though chowder can sometimes refer to any thick soup. New England clam chowder, with its milk or cream base, has potatoes, celery and possibly corn with the clams. Manhattan-style clam chowder skips the milk and substitutes a broth made with tomatoes. French bouillabaisse typically contains shellfish, such as shrimp or scallops, and white fish, such as halibut, along with tomatoes and onions.
If you simmer your soup with less liquid, you'll have a hearty stew that you can serve by the bowlful or over rice or noodles. For salmon curry, begin by cooking onions, curry powder and garlic, then add fish stock, and vegetables, such as green beans or snow peas, and finish with chunks of salmon. Or begin with the same onions and garlic, add tomato paste, chicken stock, potatoes and carrots and finish with zucchini and chunks of cod.
Over High Heat
For stir-fries, you need a dense fish that won't fall apart when you stir -- think of shrimp with snow peas or green beans, red or green bell peppers and broccoli, topped with chopped cashews or peanuts. Scallops also hold their shape well for stir-fries. Use either small bay scallops or large sea scallops cut into quarters and vegetables cut into bite-sized pieces, such as asparagus spears, green onions, carrots, red bell peppers and zucchini.
In the Oven
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To bake fish and vegetables in the oven, use parchment paper packets to wow your guests for a special dinner, or simply cover your baking dish tightly with foil for a quick, weeknight dinner. In either case, choose a mild-flavored fish, such as cod or halibut, so the fish doesn't overpower the vegetables. Add chopped carrots, leeks or bell peppers along with lemon juice and butter or oil. Cover the dish tightly with foil and bake at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15 minutes.
- The Deluxe Food Lover's Companion; Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst
- Food and Wine: Tunisian Fish-and-Vegetable Stew
- My Recipes: Kung Pao Shrimp
- Epicurious: Scallop and Vegetable Stir-Fry
- Cook's Illustrated: Cod Baked in Foil With Fennel and Shallots
- My Recipes: Arctic Char and Vegetables in Parchment Hearts
Susan Lundman began writing about her love of cooking, ingredient choices, menu planning and healthy eating after working for 20 years on children's issues at a nonprofit organization. She has written about food online professionally for ten years on numerous websites, and has provided family and friends with homemade recipes and stories about culinary adventures. Lundman received her M.A. from Stanford University.