Recipe: Blackened Catfish Salad blends savoury fillets and crispy greens for a summertime treat

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Recipe & photo by Cameron Tait

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Who said salad can’t be the most flavourful dish gracing the family dinner table? All it takes is a touch of heat, a balance of acidity and some vibrant spring greens. Better yet, kick it up a notch and add in some delicious blackened catfish fillets to truly make the palate come alive. Serves 4

  • 1 lb catfish fillet, cut into 4 pieces
  • 4 tbsp Char Blue Fish Spice Rub (www.charblue.com) or similar
  • 1 head of kale, spine removed, chopped
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 300-gram package spring lettuce mix
  • Half carrot, julienned
  • 8 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 8 basil leaves
  • 1 peeled mango, medium dice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • Pinch fresh black pepper
  1. Liberally coat both sides of the fillets with the spice rub.
  2. On the stovetop, heat a heavy cast iron pan on medium high. When the pan starts to smoke, add the fillets and cook for 3 minutes, then flip over. Once the fillet starts to bubble on top, remove and set aside. (You can also do all this outside on the BBQ to avoid a smoky house.)
  3. Place the kale, salt and lemon juice in a large bowl. Using your hands, mix and rub the greens together for 30 seconds to help break down the fibres.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients, toss thoroughly then divide into four equal portions on plates. Break the fillets into one-inch chunks, divide equally on top of the four salad plates and serve.

FOR THE GLASS

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With its hints of natural honey and aromas of caramel and toasted grain, Sleeman’s full-bodied Honey Brown Lager makes a great counterpart quaff for this relatively light dish.