One of my favorite places in Beirut is called Café Rawda; it is right on the Mediterranean shore, next to a decrepit luna park and a row of no less decrepit beaches.
So nostalgia is part of the appeal, as it is located in the area where Beirut owed its reputation as the Paris of the Middle-East.
This Café is supposed to be the place where the intellectuals hang out; today I was craning my neck trying to spot some, but I only saw, as usual, women sitting at long tables with their children and girlfriends, smoking the hookah and ordering their maids around.
Then I noticed two men: one had a stack of newspapers on his lap, and the other one was scribbling furiously with a marker and had a glue stick on his table and a pile of notebook papers.
Needless to say, after a day spent at a café, time was of the essence, hence this light and easy dish.
- 1 pound of fish fillets
- 1 grapefruit
- 2 oranges, juiced
- 1/3 cup of honey
- 1/2 cup of olive oil
- a splash of white wine or water
- a sprig of lemon verbena or a dash of fennel seeds
- salt, pepper, to taste
- If possible, curl up the fillets and hold with a toothpick if needed; the ones I bought were frozen and already shaped.
- Assemble the sauce: peel the grapefruit, cut segments and place in a deep skillet; juice the oranges, add the honey and olive oil. Season to taste and add some sprigs of lemon verbena or a bit of fennel seeds. Add a splash of wine or water if the fruits are not juicy enough.
- Bring the sauce to a simmer; drop the fish fillets in the sauce, cover and cook for about 12 minutes or until the fish looks firm and cooked.
- Remove and serve with noodles.
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