Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sunday Lunch: Pollack topped with Arugula Pesto and Green Onion Creme Fraiche, Citrus Beet Salad, and Greek Rice Salad

In case I haven't already told you, I'm an avid bookmarker. Compulsive even. I can't help it! Thanks to TasteSpotting, I see too many delicious things each day that I want to try. Too many recipes, too little time... Anyway, this last Sunday I decided it was time to test out some of the recipes I bookmarked ages ago. For a lunch with friends I made baked pollack, topped with arugula pesto and green onion creme fraiche. To use up some leftover vegetables and rice (rice which didn't go into the rice pudding), I made two salads: a beet citrus salad and a simple, Greekish rice salad.

For the fish, I was totally in awe of the flavor combination in add an egg's sauteed halibut with arugula, roasted beets, and horseradish creme fraiche. What a flavor explosion! Because I already had the rice salad to serve, I didn't want to make another salad with the arugula, but still wanted to inlude arugula, in some form or fashion. After seeing TastyKate's sauteed white fish topped with arugula pesto, I was convinced arugula pesto was the way to go. If you've never tried arugula pesto, I would like to take this opportunity to recommend it to you. I love pesto (and pistou, as we see more often in Nice), in all forms, and arugula pesto definitely does not dissapoint. Like basil pesto, it's cheesy and garlicy, but the arugula packs a peppery, mustardy punch (I'm having a ball making up these adjetctives!), that makes it a little spicy.

I didn't have any horseradish on hand for the horseradish creme fraiche, so I added a mixture of green onion and garlic to it. Delicious! I'll spare you the details of my secret love affair with creme fraiche and my desire to include it in EVERYTHING. For the fish itself, I just coated each pollack fillet in olive oil and then added salt, pepper, thyme, and a little ground red pepper and broiled them for a few minutes. I'm happy to report Alaskan pollack recieves the most sustainable raiting on my handy, dandy French fish guide. I had never made pollack before but it was as simple as any other white fish and quite delicious.

With the fish, I made Ina Garten's Beets with Orange Vinaigrette, a recipe I adored and am sure I will make again repeatedly. In addition to the beets and orange segments, the salad features a vinaigrette that is a unique mix of olive oil, raspberry vinegar (delicious!), and orange juice. It was a fairly sweet salad, but being a huge beet-lover, I thought it was just fantastic. I also threw together a Greek rice salad with the leftover ingredients I had in the fridge, which turned out to be a nice balance to the strong flavors of the beet salad and the fish.

Baked Pollack
serves 4

4 fillets pollack
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp dried thyme
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp ground red pepper

Coat the pollack fillets in olive oil and spices on baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Arugula Pesto
from TastyKate

1 1/2 cups arugula
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
3-4 cloves fresh garlic
enough oil to meet your desired consistency
Salt & pepper to taste

Process all ingredients while adding oil until the mixture reaches your desired consistency.

Green Onion & Garlic Creme Fraiche

1 scallion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/4 cup creme fraiche

Mix all ingredients.

Beets with Orange Vinaigrette
from Ina Garten: The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook
makes 4-6 servings

3 (15-ounce) cans baby beets, drained
2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
3 tablespoons good olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup small-diced red onion (1 small onion)
2 large seedless oranges, zested
Segments 2 large seedless oranges

Drain the beets and dice into 1/2-inch cubes.

Place the beets in a mixing bowl and add the raspberry vinegar, orange juice, olive oil, salt, pepper and red onions. Zest the oranges and then segment over a bowl to catch the juices. Add the orange zest, orange segments, and any juices and mix well. Taste for seasoning and serve cold or at room temperature.

Greek Brown Rice Salad
serves 4

2 cups brown rice, cooked
1 tomato, chopped
1 cucumber, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1 medium sized block of feta, crumbled
2 scallions, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Mix all ingredients and serve.


Nayereh said...

by far the most impressive post! horray for you!

Manggy said...

Very well done Sara! I have to say I don't usually make recipes from blogs (if I do, I don't usually blog about it), but there are plenty of great ones out there :) Nice to see you stumbled upon them!

Sara said...

Sara, this looks absolutely DELICIOUS! I wish I could have some