Sunday, August 23, 2009

One Local Summer

I went looking for something new and different to do with sole this evening and found something on Epicurious that included a few other things I wanted to use and was written by Jamie Oliver, a favorite of Jeff's. I varied the recipe quite a bit and, fortunately, it still turned out to be wonderful. The green beans were steamed just plain and the potatoes were roasted.

So, here is the rundown on this meal for my One Local Summer report:
tomatoes, swiss chard, basil - our garden
other tomatoes, green beans, new potatoes, garlic - our CSA and the farmer's market
dover sole - caught in Oregon
white wine - not local

Here's the recipe from Epicurious. I'll describe my variations at the end.

Pan-Baked Lemon Sole with Spinach, Olives, and Tomatoes by Jamie Oliver

Adapted from Happy Days with the Naked Chef

  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Chardonnay or other dry white wine
  • 1 (28- or 32-oz) can whole tomatoes in juice
  • Fine sea salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup brine-cured black olives (3 oz), pitted
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1 flat anchovy fillet
  • 4 (7-oz) lemon sole fillets
  • 5 oz baby spinach

Make sauce:
Cook garlic in 2 tablespoons oil in a 2-quart flameproof gratin dish over moderate heat (on stovetop), stirring until softened (but with no change in color), 1 to 2 minutes. Add wine and boil until reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Add tomatoes with juice, breaking them up with a spoon, and gently simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 20 minutes. Add sea salt and pepper to taste and remove from heat.

Prepare fish while sauce simmers:
Preheat oven to 400°F.

Pulse olives, basil, and anchovy to a coarse paste in a food processor (or finely chop with a knife). Add 2 tablespoons oil and pulse to combine.

Lay fish fillets, skinned sides down, on a work surface and season with pepper. Divide olive paste among fillets and spread evenly. Beginning at narrow end, roll up each fillet.

Bake fish:
Arrange fish rolls, seam sides down, on tomato sauce in gratin dish. Drizzle with remaining tablespoon oil and bake, uncovered, in middle of oven, until fish is just cooked through, about 15 minutes.

Transfer fish to 4 heated plates. Heat tomato sauce in gratin dish over moderate heat (on stovetop), then add spinach and cook, stirring, until wilted, about 1 minute. Spoon sauce with spinach alongside fish.

My variations:

I had about 1/4 the amount of fish, but made 1/2 the amount of the sauce and was glad I did - would have been happy to have even more of the sauce. And these were dover sole - have to admit I don't know anything about lemon sole.

Used fresh tomatoes instead of canned, added a little extra water and a little extra wine.

Don't like olives and didn't have an anchovy fillet. So, the sole was wrapped up only with chopped basil with a tiny bit of olive oil.

We had a lot of chard in the garden, so I used that in place of the spinach - chopped it up to be about the same size as baby spinach leaves.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Roasted Ratatouille - One Local Summer

It being zucchini season, among other things, we are in that perennial hunt for "what is one more way we can use zucchini?" One of my favorites is ratatouille and we'd had it a couple weeks ago. But, I had found a slight variation in the Moosewood "Simple Suppers" cookbook recently. They suggest roasting the vegetables instead of cooking them on the stovetop. So, that's what I tried Sunday evening. It's the usual assortment of late summer vegetables, with some olive oil and salt and pepper - but roasted in the oven for close to an hour at 450. When serving, a bit of chopped fresh basil is added. It was delicious, sweet and rich tasting as is often the case with roasted vegetables. We had the ratatouille with a small London Broil steak cooked on the grill and a piece of wheat nut bread, with whole wheat, walnut chunks, flax and millet - from New Seasons' bakery.

zucchini, tomatoes, basil - our garden
eggplant, peppers, onions - Deep Roots Farm, our CSA
steak - New Seasons Pacific Village beef

The ratatouille - Before....

during.... (stir periodically during the roasting)

and after