The traditions of fasting and abstaining from certain foods are ancient ones practiced by many religions. In the early years of Christianity in Europe, the church instituted the practice of requiring the faithful to abstain from eating meat on Fridays.
During Lent, the 40-day period of religious self-denial from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday, the church called for abstaining from eating meat on Wednesdays and Fridays. The reason to abstain from meat on certain days was to aid in spiritual development. It’s an opportunity to turn inward towards reflection, meditation and prayer.
Although the Church’s directive was to abstain from eating meat and did not mention the consumption of fish on Fridays, somehow over time eating fish on Fridays became a tradition within the Catholic Church.
Here are 5 delicious, nutritious, simple and elegant ways to honor “Fish Friday” during Lent. And to enjoy any other time as well. These are a beautiful harmony of protein, healthy fats, texture and flavor in these nut-crusted, baked fish recipes.
You can use mild white fish like cod or halibut or salmon. Use any nuts (walnuts, almond, pecan, etc.) These are an easy option for a weeknight and also make elegant dishes for a dinner party.
Roast with asparagus, green beans or broccoli, maybe some new potatoes too, add a salad and dinner is done.
Almond-Lemon Crusted Fish – Eating Well
Coconut Crusted Salmon – My Sequined Life
Dijon Pecan Baked Salmon – Delicious As It Looks
Pistachio Crusted Salmon – Sweet and Savory Pursuits
Pesto Crusted Fish – Color My Food
For More Empowerment
A fascinating overview of the Catholic tradition of eating fish on Fridays, how that evolved with economic expansion in the Industrial Revolution, came to the U.S. with Irish and German immigrants and is now part of Friday night fish frys. To this day, local Catholic churches, American Legions, VFW halls, fire stations and other organizations, find inexpensive fish-fry dinners to be a good way for their members and community to get together and socialize while at the same time raising money for churches or organizations.
The importance of knowing where your fish comes from