>Tahini Miso Pollock with Lentils


As part of their Health Starts Here program, Harry’s Farmer’s Market (which is actually a Whole Foods Market, they just never changed the name after WFM acquired the store many years ago) is offering weekly classes to the participants of the Eat Right America and Engine 2 28-day challenges.  Every Monday, we meet in a different area of the store to discuss our progress and learn a little something about what Whole Foods has to offer in the way of foods that are appropriate for our new dietary lifestyle.  
It’s interesting, because all of the participants are at different stages in our experience with some of the foods that are being discussed.  There are some people who had never tried kale before they started this plan, and there are those of us to whom very few of the foods are new, we’re just trying to cut back on the amount of animal protein (in my case, mainly cheese and butter) that we consume.  
What’s particularly nice about these classes is that they feed us.  The first week we got to sample small amounts of soup, some prepared dips (hummus and guacamole) and a smoothie.  The second week, they gave us all a $10 gift card so that we could try some items from the prepared foods bar.  And this week, they did a cooking demonstration to showcase some healthier cooking techniques.  The Harry’s team members prepared a very filling meal of baked pollock with a tahini miso dressing, some steamed kale, a mixed green salad with balsamic dressing and topped with a variety of dried fruits and seeds, and a wonderful kale and avocado salad.

It was all good, but I was particularly struck by the pollock.  It was a fish I was unfamiliar with until last night, although I’ve since read that even if you’ve never heard of it, you’ve probably eaten it.  It is often used in fish-sticks, makes great fish and chips, and can be substituted for cod or haddock in most recipes.  I enjoyed the preparation so much, I decided I wanted to make it for dinner the next night.  I guess Harry’s (and Whole Foods) knows what they’re doing, because I had to wait in line behind two or three other class members as they also purchased pieces of the wild-caught fish that was, coincidentally(!), on sale. 
Luckily, I had all of the ingredients for the dressing at home in the pantry and the fridge.  All I had to purchase in addition to the fish was a bunch of fresh parsley and a couple of lemons.  If you like fish, I recommend this recipe.  It’s super simple and super flavorful, and you could easily substitute another light white fish for the pollock (you know, if it doesn’t happen to be on sale this week).  I bet this dressing would even be good on salmon or another heavier fish.
I wound up with about 1.25 lbs. of fish, which translates to about five servings.  I realized after I’d left the store that I had written down the recipe for the dressing, but I had neglected to find out how many servings the recipe yielded.  I wound up putting all of the dressing on the fish, and it seemed to be an appropriate amount for the piece I’d purchased.
Tahini Miso Pollock
prep time: 5 minutes
cook time: 10-15 minutes
yield: 5 servings
1.25 lbs. of wild-caught pollock (or cod, haddock, tilapia, sole)
1/4 cup water
1 Tablespoon miso
1 clove garlic
1/3 cup tahini
1 cup chopped parsley
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil (if using foil, spray it lightly with cooking spray).
  2. Rinse the fish and pat it dry.  Place it on the baking sheet.
  3. Combine the water and miso.  Whisk to dissolve the miso in the water.
  4. Add the garlic, tahini, parsley, orange zest and lemon juice.  Stir to combine.
  5. Pour the dressing over the fish, covering it well.
  6. Bake at 350F for 10-15 minutes (depending on the thickness of the piece of fish).

I served mine on a bed of lentils that I simply boiled in water and drained, then tossed with the juice of two lemons and a cup of chopped parsley.

Some notes:  I used red miso, and I think that the demonstration was done using white miso (which is milder).  Also, I wanted to use orange zest, but my husband ate the orange I had intended to use for lunch, so I used a tiny bit of orange extract instead.  It wasn’t the same, but it was alright.  The fish was very tender and flaky, and my husband went back for seconds and then thirds he liked it so much.  The lentils were great – definitely try this simple preparation. 



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