Pan-Fried Fish With Apricot Salsa & Arugula Salad

Fresh locally caught fish, and local, seasonal, picked-that-morning fresh produce combined in a bright and flavorful healthy meal… Pan-Fried Fish with Apricot Salsa & Arugula Salad combines gorgeous spring produce in a simple one-dish meal!

Pan-Fried Fish with Apricot Salsa and Arugula Salad

My husband Mark and I are celebrating our 35th anniversary in our trailer – Chaco Culture National Historic Monument, and Durango, Colorado. Oh my! I never grow tired of the beauty of the high desert southwest! The night sky, and the stars, of course, are unequalled in their beauty. Never one to neglect food, though, I set about finding the finest local ingredients in putting together a meal under the stars for the love of my life and me. 🙂 Pan-Fried Fish With Apricot Salsa & Arugula Salad was the end result, and it did not disappoint!

The sky was clear and crowded with stars, the stars looked hard and pure.

~~ Manuel Ramos, Ballad of Rocky Ruiz

When travelling, I love to investigate the local “food scene.” Durango is blessed! Mark and I found locally caught wild striped bass at a local market – PJ’s Gourmet Grocers. Apricots (the earliest stone fruits) are in season, so I snagged a couple. Today, after a hike in the high country above Durango Mountain Resort, we stopped at James Ranch Market, and found the most beautiful freshly pulled white radishes, and arugula. James Ranch Market features artisan cheeses from the grass-fed cows, garden-fresh organic produce, grass-fed beef, pork, pastured eggs, etc. Oh my! We enjoyed a tour of the property, and I know their cows, goats, pigs, and chickens must be happy! So, I figured I could incorporate the arugula and white radishes into my evening menu, and surprisingly, it worked!

Fish With Apricot SalsaSalsa is such a versatile condiment, and it lends itself so well to local, seasonal, fresh ingredients. This apricot salsa combines the freshest of ingredients, and you can vary this recipe to incorporate whatever ingredients are fresh and seasonal in your area. I used firm, ripe apricots (not soft), sweet onion, fresh basil, serrano chiles, roma tomato, sherry vinegar, olive oil, and honey. My fish was filleted striped bass – local and very fresh – but you could use any firm, white fish.

My salad greens were arugula – freshly picked – and combined with freshly picked white radishes. The vinaigrette was simply olive oil, sherry vinegar, sea salt, and fresh ground pepper. We had been to a local microbrewery – Animas River Brewing Co. – and didn’t want additional carbs with our dinner, but a wild rice pilaf or baguette would be perfect to complete the meal! We paired this fresh fish dish with a local Chardonnay from Four Leaves Winery in Durango. With the babble of Lightner Creek in the background, and the cool mountain breeze, it’s hard to imagine a more perfect meal under the stars!

Pan-Fried Fish with Apricot Salsa and Arugula Salad

Yield: 2

Fish With Apricot Salsa & Arugula Salad

Pan-Fried Fish with Apricot Salsa and Arugula Salad

Fresh locally caught fish, and local, seasonal, picked-that-morning fresh produce combined in a bright and flavorful healthy meal...

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

Salsa

  • 1/4 sweet onion, , finely chopped
  • 1 roma tomato, , chopped
  • 2 serrano, (or jalapeno) chiles, minced
  • 2 apricots, , firm, seed removed, chopped*
  • 1 tbsp . fresh basil, , chopped
  • 1 tbsp . olive oil
  • 2 tbsp . sherry vinegar*
  • 1 tsp . honey*
  • 1/4 tsp . sea salt
  • a few grinds black pepper

Salad

  • 4 cups arugula
  • 1 small bunch fresh radishes, , scrubbed, top and root removed, sliced thin
  • drizzle of olive oil, (about 2 tsp.)
  • drizzle of sherry vinegar, (about 2 tsp.)
  • fresh ground pepper
  • good sea salt

Fish

  • 2 fish fillets, (about 12 ounces)*
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp . milk or buttermilk
  • scant 1/2 cup flour* seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 1 to 2 tbsp. canola for the skillet
  • * See Notes

Instructions

Salsa

  1. Combine salsa ingredients in a medium-sized prep bowl. Stir to combine. Set aside while the rest of the meal is prepared.

Salad

  1. Toss the arugula with the sliced radishes. Whisk together the olive oil, sherry vinegar, and a few grinds of salt and pepper. Just before serving, toss arugula and radishes with the vinaigrette.

Fish

  1. Add a scant 1 to 2 tbsp. canola or vegetable oil to a skillet over medium-high heat. Dip fish fillets in egg wash, and then in seasoned flour. Add to the hot pan.
  2. When fillets are golden brown and crisp, turn them.

To Serve

  1. Top a fish fillet with a generous scoop of the salsa. Serve the arugula and radish salad alongside. Enjoy!

Notes

Substitute your preferred sweetener. I like honey, but sometimes use agave nectar or brown sugar.

Use whatever fruit is seasonal and fresh. You might substitute peaches, nectarines, or mangoes.

I love sherry vinegar. It has an amazing smooth flavor, and is not highly acidic. Feel free to substitute another good vinegar like apple cider or white wine vinegar.

I used buttermilk pancake mix to coat the fish, as I'd neglected to bring flour. Bread crumbs and cornmeal are also great options.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest


Durango, Colorado is an awesome vacation destination for lovers of good food, good wine, craft breweries, and every imaginable outdoor activity. I’ve included a few photos and links from our trip that might prove helpful (or amuse you)…

A few places we visited and really enjoyed:
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Pan-Fried Fish with Apricot Salsa and Arugula Salad - A simple fish dish that uses some of spring's most beautiful produce - apricots, arugula, radishes! fish recipes | fruit salsas | arugula

 

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8 Comments

    1. That was a super fun and relaxing trip! One of the toughest aspects of moving to south Texas is the distance from Colorado! Thanks Sam!

  1. What amazes me the most is the fact that this recipe was created and executed while you were camping. just goes to show you how simple it can be to eat great food. I would love to eat mounds of this salsa, with whatever you put it on.

    1. It is simple to eat great food! One of my favorite things about camping is how good the food tastes when surrounded by natural beauty 🙂 You and Evan need to try making the salsa! It would be great in fish tacos…

  2. Hi Tami,
    Printing this one out. Cannot wait to try it! Jim and I love ideas like this for the summer.