Fish is a very good source of protein for your little one and you can start introducing it in your baby’s diet at around 6 months of age. I always like to start with delicate flavors so I would suggest a white fish fillet for your very first fish baby recipe. Sole is a lovely choice: delicate in flavor and easy to digest, but you can always opt for a bigger fish like a Mahi Mahi or Halibut, lovely choices too. These recommendations are based from what I find here locally, so the real suggestion is to go to your local fishmonger and ask what’s the fresh local caught of the day 🙂
In the summer I move to Italy so the variety of fish there is totally different from what I can find here in Los Angeles during the year. Local and fresh is always the best way to go 🙂
Today I found some wild caught sole fillets at the store and I will use them for my recipe. The inspiration comes from a traditional Italian recipe: baked fish with herbs, potatoes and olives. I decided to add some pears to the recipe to balance the strong flavor of the olives and I simply transformed my recipe in a baby puree to be enjoyed by little ones too. That’s another nice example of the one family = one recipe philosophy. I really think that it’s possible to prepare a yummy meal for the baby and – using the same basic ingredients – cook for the rest of the family: the difference is in the texture and in few additional ingredients that you might want to add to the adult plate, some salt for example 🙂
The baked Sole fillet with potatoes, Taggiasca olives and Pears is ready to be served to the adults right out of the oven (simply add a pinch of salt on top). If you have little kids/toddlers/if you are following the baby led weaning method, mash the fish and potatoes with a fork and cut the olives in tiny pieces. If you have a baby, puree’ everything 🙂
A small diversion about OLIVES. First of all. Can you give olives to your babies? Yes! Starting from 6 months of age. Considering the strong flavor and the firm texture I would suggest to start introducing olives in your baby’s diet as a baby food ingredient and not as a stand alone snack. Olives are fruits, from the stone fruit family. Like peaches and apricots. Surprising, yes?? They simply don’t have any natural sugar, but they are loaded with good oils (remember that Olive Oil comes from Olives). The olives that we buy and eat are not the raw ones from the tree (have you ever tried a raw olive??? yuk!!), they are cured/fermented in different ways, the most common is soaking in brine or salt. That’s why it’s better to give olives to babies as one of the many ingredients of a recipe, to minimize the sodium amount given.
From a nutritional point of view olives are a lovely source of Vitamin E and Antioxidants.
Which kind of olive? Being Italian, I love the Italian varieties for my baby recipes: Taggiasche olives (black, fruity and sweet) Castelverano (green, meaty, mild flavor) Cerignola (giant green, mild flavor). I also like some local Californian Mission (black, bright in flavor).
A fun fact about olives…there is no green or black variety. Green olives are simply not ripen. Once ripen they become black. So the difference is not in the tree but in when the olive is picked from the tree. Green olives are usually picked at the beginning of the harvest season (September/October), black olives need to wait up until November/December and, usually, they are softer, richer, meatier.
One personal advice when cooking for babies or kids is not to give them canned olives (the black ones already depicted). They are basically picked green form the tree, depicted, canned and chemically pumped with oxygen to turn black once opened.
Let’s go back to our recipe. Easy and fast to prepare, we are basically baking everything.
Some prep work: peel the potato and thinly slice it. Remove the pit from the olives. Peel the pear, core it and chop it in pieces.
Cover a baking sheet with some parchment paper. Place the potato slices one next to the other, forming a rectangle, slightly overlapping. Place the fish fillet on top. Add the olives, thyme and bay leaves. Place the pear cubes around the potatoes, like a frame. Drizzle with some Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Bake for 15 minutes to 400F/180C.
Remove the thyme and bay leaves before serving. If you are looking for a creamy texture, place a baby portion in a food processor or tall container. Add some thinning liquid like baby formula, breastmilk or hot water (for more info about how to thin your baby food, check this post too) and blend up until smooth.
The baked fish puree can be stored in an air tight container and refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 3/4 months.
The baby and eco friendly utensils and glass containers featured in the video are from GreenSprouts, check out this link for more information.
- 1 white sole fillet
- 1 potato
- 3 Taggiasca olives
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 2 bay leaf
- 1/2 pear
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Peel the potato and slice it thinly
Remove the pit from the olives
Peel the pear, core it and chop in pieces
On a baking sheet place a parchment paper. Slightly overlay the potato slices one next to the other forming a rectangle
Place the fish fillet on top and than the olives and herbs
Place the pear pieces around the potatoes like in a frame
Drizzle the Extra Virgin Olive Oil on top. Bake 15min to 400F/180C
Remove the herbs and either serve or blend in a smooth puree