Mike Bittman literally made this dish with one hand tied behind his back. I’m not kidding – watch the video. The producers held him to it after he claimed it was that easy. And it is. The fish also makes a nice presentation. (Note: If you're looking for an even easier meal, use store-bought presto instead of grinding your own.) Oh, it's also a one pan wonder. Just saute asparagus (or another vegetable) in the pan with the fish. Finish with a crisp glass of white wine and you're ready to enjoy a meal that appears to have taken much more of your energy than it really did. I won't tell.
Recipe courtesy Mark Bittman, NY Times
1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup pine nuts
2 tablespoons olive oil, more or less
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 4- to 6-ounce thick fillets of halibut, cod or other white-fleshed fish
2 or 3 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto
2 tablespoons butter, or more oil.
1. Heat oven to 450 degrees. In a small food processor, combine herbs with pine nuts, enough olive oil to make a thick paste, and salt and pepper. (Alternatively, chop everything fine and combine in a bowl.)
2. Season fillets with salt and pepper. Lay two slices of prosciutto on a board, slightly overlapping like fish scales. Smear prosciutto with a layer of herb mixture, then lay fish in center and wrap it up.
3. Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat for about 2 minutes; add butter. When foam subsides, cook fish for a minute on each side, then roast until tender, 5 to 10 minutes depending on thickness. Fillets are done when a thin-bladed knife will pass through their thickest point with little resistance. Serve.
Yield: 4 servings.
With summer in full swing I've been trying to eat more fish and make good use of our outdoor grill. This marinade is incredibly simple, and gives the salmon a sweet, mild flavor. Crunchy vegetables with a bit of heat are a wonderful compliment to the tender fish.
Asian Grilled Salmon
Recipe courtesy Ina Garten
4 salmon filets
For the marinade:
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons good soy sauce
6 tablespoons good olive oil
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
Light charcoal briquettes in a grill and brush the grilling rack with oil to keep the salmon from sticking.
While the grill is heating, lay the salmon skin side down on a cutting board and cut it crosswise into 4 equal pieces. Whisk together the mustard, soy sauce, olive oil, and garlic in a small bowl. Drizzle half of the marinade onto the salmon and allow it to sit for 10 minutes.
Place the salmon skin side down on the hot grill; discard the marinade the fish was sitting in. Grill for 4 to 5 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish. Turn carefully with a wide spatula and grill for another 4 to 5 minutes. The salmon will be slightly raw in the center, but don't worry; it will keep cooking as it sits.
Transfer the fish to a flat plate, skin side down, and spoon the reserved marinade on top. Allow the fish to rest for 10 minutes. Remove the skin and serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled.
Sautéed Asparagus and Snap Peas
1 pound asparagus
3/4-pound sugar snap peas
2 tablespoons good olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Red pepper flakes, optional
Sea salt, for serving
Cut off the tough ends of the asparagus and slice the stalks diagonally into 2-inch pieces. Snap off the stem ends of the snap peas and pull the string down the length of the vegetable.
Warm the olive oil in a large saute pan over a medium heat and add the asparagus and snap peas. Add the salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes, to taste, if desired. Cook for approximately 5 to10 minutes until al dente, tossing occasionally. Sprinkle with sea salt and serve hot.
I know I recently said that this barley salad is perfect for summer picnics, but Orzo with Grilled Shrimp and Pesto is equally perfect. (Ok, it might be one of my favorite pasta salads of all time.) I scrambled to make this on my lunch break so it could chill before a picnic later that night, but most of the preparations can be done the day before.
To make things easier, I used frozen, pre-cooked shrimp I already had in the freezer. You'll get bonus points for making your own pesto (just blend basil, toasted pine nuts, salt, pepper, Parmesan cheese and garlic in a food processor; stream in olive oil), but using store bought pesto is completely acceptable. Also, don't be afraid of a little salt. Add some when you first combine the ingredients, then taste the mixture after it has had a few hours to chill and add salt accordingly. The flavors are greatly enhanced if it's salted properly. Just add slowly, combine, and taste. Repeat as needed.
Orzo with Grilled Shrimp and Pesto
Adapted from Bon Appétit | June 2008
3 cups orzo
6 ½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar, divided
2 medium zucchini or summer squash, cut lengthwise
1/4 cup store-bought pesto (or more/less, depending on your preference)
2 cups large shrimp (the recipe has you grill them, but I saved time and thawed pre-cooked shrimp)
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1 8-ounce ball fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into ½ inch cubes
1/3 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
Juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper to taste
Cook orzo in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite (about 8 minutes), stirring occasionally. Drain. Rinse with cold water; drain well. Transfer to large bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon oil. Allow orzo to come to room temperature before tossing with other ingredients.
Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Whisk 2 tablespoons oil and 2 tablespoons vinegar in small bowl. Brush zucchini and bell pepper with oil mixture, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill for 3 minutes per side and let rest. Cut into ½ inch pieces and set aside.
If grilling shrimp, sprinkle with salt and pepper and brush with olive oil, then grill for 2-3 minutes per side. Otherwise, thaw frozen shrimp in warm water for 5 minutes. Cut off tail and cut shrimp into ½ inch pieces. Add shrimp to bowl with zucchini.
Add remaining vinaigrette, pesto, tomatoes, sliced basil, zucchini, shrimp (if using), lemon juice and mozzarella to orzo; toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 hours ahead. Cover; chill.
Garnish with basil sprigs and serve cold or at room temperature.