Okay, so the original recipe called for preserved lemon. But I don't have any, and the last time I bought a jar of preserved lemons they achieved consciousness in the back of the fridge because I rarely used them. I could have made my own, but that was way too much forethought. My grocery store only has skate wing intermittently; I had this recipe on standby in case it was available. I served the skate with a side of steamed asparagus with lemon pepper and a small salad because both are simple. This dish has relatively little chopping and doesn't taste very long to make! This dish is very doable on a work night.
Skate wing is pretty mild, so I was worried that the salty olives and sour lemon would overpower it. It did, to an extent, but it was still very good. It probably had something to do with the fact that I used extra olives because I love them. If you don't want a slightly overwhelming sauce, stick to using 4 to 6 olives.
My skate wings didn't have bones in them. Instead of cooking them for 4 minutes each side, I did 3 each side and that was plenty of time. For thicker wings, 4 minutes each side or longer is probably necessary. My skate wings were so thin that they were falling apart a little too much when I served them, next time I'll probably cook them for less time.
Skate Wing with Lemon and Green Olives
Slightly adapted from Arabesque
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 small skate wings (about 1 lb)
salt to taste
juice of 1/2 to 1 lemon, to taste (but at least use 1/2)
zest from 1/2 lemon
4 to 6 large green olives, pitted and chopped (I used way more, probably about 12 olives)
1 Tbsp chopped parsley or cilantro (I used parsley because that's what I had sitting around)
lemon wedges for serving
1) Heat the olive oil in a nonstick pan large enough to hold the skate wings without stacking them. Add the skate wings, sprinkle with salt, and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes over low heat.
2) Flip the skate wings over and add the lemon juice. Cook for 3 or 4 more minutes or until the flesh starts to come away from the bones if the skate has bones. Otherwise be careful not to let them separate too much and fall apart.
3) Add the lemon zest, olives, and herbs and heat through in the oil and juices.
4) Put the skate wings on a plate, top with olive and lemon zest mixture. Serve with lemon wedges.