Pisces: Center for New Testament Stories, Symbol of Christianity


Rainbow trout are grilled over hot coals. Fresh trout are perfect for cooking over an open fire. Photo CNS / Nancy Wiechec

Fish stories capture our attention with suspense and metaphor. We love to hear about the big catch or the one that got loose.

In fact, the fish are central to some favorite Bible stories – Jonah and the great fish, the multiplication of loaves and fish, Jesus calling fishermen to be his disciples.

Among the oldest trades, fishing flourished along the Sea of ​​Galilee in the place and time of Jesus’ public ministry. Fish, fishermen and fishermen are specifically mentioned more than 30 times in the New Testament.

After the Resurrection, the fish became a symbol of faith. The representations of fish were used as secret signs to mark the meeting places and tombs of early Christians who did not want to be discovered by their persecutors.

It was Christ himself who made the link between the fishermen and the faithful.

“Jesus said to them: ‘Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men’” (Mk 1,17).

Anyone who fishes knows this requires commitment, skill and patience. As the rod and reel people like to say, “good things happen to those who bait”. Discipleship requires similar traits.

Fish was an important protein in Jesus’ day. Yet, as the fish perished quickly, it was often preserved by salting and drying or pickling. Although the Bible does not provide actual recipes, the last chapter of the Gospel of John tells of how fresh fish was cooked.

“When (the disciples) came up to the shore, they saw a charcoal fire with fish on it and bread. … Jesus said to them: ‘Come and have your breakfast’ ”(Jn 21,9-12).

This recipe requires a fresh take and follows this method. The fish and bread are subtly flavored with olive oil, sea salt and a hint of smoke.


Compensation: About 1 hour
Servings: 4

Freshly caught white bass, perch, trout or mackerel go well with this recipe. You can replace the fish fillets. Place the lemon slices and thyme on the fillets, use a grill basket to keep everything together, and adjust the grill time as shown below.

2 lemons
4 whole fish, about 12 to 14 inches long – gutted and cleaned
3-4 tablespoons of quality olive oil
8 sprigs of fresh thyme
Sea salt
4 thick slices of sourdough or ciabatta bread

Cut a lemon in half crosswise. Cut the other lemon into eight thin slices. Pat the fish dry with a paper towel. Drizzle the outside and inside of the fish with olive oil. Season each, outside and inside, with a few pinches of sea salt. Place two sprigs of thyme and two slices of lemon inside the fish, cover them with plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature while you grill.

Clean the grill grid well to prevent the fish from sticking. Prepare a fire using wood briquettes or charcoal. It is ready to cook when the embers are glowing, approximately 25 minutes after the fire starts. Using long tongs, carefully spread the hot coals in a single layer under the grill plate. If using a gas grill, preheat it to 500 F, then set the temperature to medium before cooking.

Brush both sides of each slice of bread with olive oil. Sprinkle a little sea salt on one side of each.

Place bread and lemon halves (cut side down) on the grill. Flip the slices of bread after about 2 minutes and toast the other side. When the bread is well toasted, remove it and the lemon halves from the grill and set aside.

Place the fish on the grill and cook on each side for 7-10 minutes. Use a large metal spatula to flip the fish. The cooking time will depend on the size and thickness of your fish and the temperature of your grill. The fish is cooked when the meat easily comes off the bones. The fillets cook much faster, about 4 to 6 minutes per side.

Place the fish on a serving platter and squeeze the juice of the grilled lemon over the top of the fish. Serve with toast and a green salad.

Key words: Fish, food, recipe, symbol of Christianity

Category: Commentary, Featured

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