Grilled Swordfish with Za’atar Salsa Verde

I love a fresh herb sauce. This Middle Eastern variation on a classic salsa verde brightened up the grilled fish. We ate it over brown Basmati rice with sautéed collard greens and green kale on the side.

This dish was adapted from Bon Appetit, contributed by Alon Shaya. I used homemade za’atar. I also used swordfish in lieu of red snapper, grilling instead of broiling, and modified the proportions in the salsa verde. Healthy and tasty. 🙂

Yield: Serves 2

  • 1 tablespoon pine nuts
  • 2 6-ounce swordfish steaks, patted dry
  • coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • ⅓ cup loosely packed cilantro, finely chopped
  • ⅓ cup loosely packed parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely grated or chopped
  • 3/4 teaspoons za’atar
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  1. Toast pine nuts in a 400 degree oven (I used a toaster oven.) or a dry small skillet over medium-low heat, tossing often, until golden and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Let cool. Coarsely chop, if desired.
  2. Heat a gas grill or broiler. Season fish with salt and pepper, then sprinkle with coriander.
  3. Drizzle 1 T oil onto one side of the fish, flip and repeat on the opposite side. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Grill fish until cooked through, about 3-4 min per side for a 1″ thick steak. (Alternatively, place fish on a small rimmed baking sheet and broil until cooked through, about 8–10 minutes.)
  5. Meanwhile, mix together cilantro, parsley, garlic, za’atar, red pepper flakes, and remaining 4 T olive oil in a mini food processor or small bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Stir lemon juice and pine nuts into salsa verde and spoon over fish.

 One Year Ago:

Two Years Ago:

Three Years Ago:

Four Years Ago:

Greens & Chayote Enchiladas with Salsa Verde

These wonderful, vegetarian, no-bake enchiladas claimed to be light and satisfying- a pretty accurate description! Perfect warm weather Mexican fare. Fresh and fabulous. 🙂 This recipe was adapted from the New York Times, contributed by Martha Rose Shulman.

Inspired by my food blog friends who have made their own birthday cakes, etc., I made this dish for my own birthday dinner!! I prepared the filling a day in advance (no work on the big day!) and we ate them after a relaxing day in the sunshine. My husband made my favorite Huevos Rancheros for breakfast (I am obviously a Mexican-food lover), and I was greeted with a surprise birthday cake from my girlfriend when I got home! ❤ What a great day! Maybe getting older isn’t so awful….

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I’m bringing my special dish to share at Angie’s Fiesta Friday #74 (belatedly, again…), co-hosted by Loretta @Safari of the Mind and Caroline @Caroline’s Cooking. As another surprise birthday gift, my dish from Fiesta Friday #73 was featured this week! Yay!! Check it out & Enjoy! 🙂

Yield: Serves 8

  • 1 pound Swiss or rainbow chard, or a combination
  • 2 medium-size chayote or summer squash (about 1 1/4 pounds), cut in small dice (4 cups diced)
  • 1 pound fresh tomatillos, husked and rinsed
  • 2 jalapeño or 2 to 3 serrano chiles, stemmed
  • ½ white onion, coarsely chopped
  • coarse salt to taste
  • 4 large peeled garlic cloves; 2 whole and 2 minced
  • 12 cilantro sprigs, plus chopped cilantro for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon canola or grapeseed oil
  • 2 ½ cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 18 corn tortillas
  • About 1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco or feta

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  1. Peel and dice the chayote squash.
  2. Strip chard leaves from stems and wash in 2 changes of water. Keep leaves whole.
  3. Rinse chard stems and cut in small dice if wide, or, if thin, slice crosswise 1/4 inch thick. (I cut my wide stems into thin strips and then sliced all of them crosswise 1/4 inch thick.) Set aside stems with chayote in one bowl and leaves in another.
  4. Make the salsa verde: Combine tomatillos, jalapeños and onion in a large saucepan or Dutch oven; cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes, until tomatillos have gone from pale green to olive and have softened. Using a slotted spoon or a Chinese strainer, transfer tomatillos, onion and one of the jalapeños to a blender. (I used a Vitamix!) Do not drain water from pot. Let vegetables cool in the blender while you blanch greens and chayote.
  5. Add more water to the pot so it is about 2/3 full. Return to a boil, salt generously, and add the chard leaves. Blanch until tender, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer leaves to a bowl of cold (ice) water to quickly shock, then drain and dry. Chop coarsely and set aside.
  6. Return water to a simmer and add chayote and chard stems. Simmer 5 minutes, or until just tender. Drain through a colander and again on paper towels.
  7. Add whole garlic cloves and cilantro sprigs to ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Taste for heat and add remaining jalapeño if desired. (I only used one jalapeño- and the salsa had quite a kick!)
  8. Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a large, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. When hot, add tomatillo purée and partly cover to protect from splattering. Cook, stirring often, until it thickens and begins to stick to the pan, about 5 minutes.
  9. Stir in stock, add salt to taste, and bring to a simmer. Cook uncovered for 20 minutes, stirring often, until sauce is thick and coats the front and back of a spoon. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  10. Heat olive oil in medium skillet over medium heat and add minced garlic. When fragrant, after about 30 seconds, stir in oregano, blanched and chopped leaves, stems, and chayote. Cook, stirring for about 3 minutes, until tender, fragrant and coated with oil. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in 1 cup salsa verde and set aside.
  11. Place tortillas in a tortilla warmer or on a microwave safe plate. Cover with a damp paper towel and cover with warmer lid, or with plastic wrap if using a plate. Microwave on high for 1 minute. (Alternatively: Prepare the tortillas: Heat 1/3 cup canola oil in a medium skillet over medium heat, until oil bubbles around the edges of a tortilla when you dip it into the pan. Place a platter covered with paper towels next to pan. Using tongs, slide tortillas, one at a time, into hot oil. As soon as tortilla begins to puff, about 10 to 15 seconds, flip over and leave another 10 to 15 seconds. Immediately remove from pan and drain on paper towels. Cover with foil to keep warm.)
  12. One by one, quickly dip tortillas into the remaining warm salsa verde, lay on serving platter, and top with about 1/4 cup filling. Roll up tortilla and place seam side down on platter. When all tortillas have been filled, pour remaining salsa verde on top, sprinkle with cilantro and queso fresco (or feta) and serve.

One Year Ago:

Two Years Ago:

Grilled Pork Chops with Fried-Sage Salsa Verde and Sage Potatoes

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I am such a sauce person- this dish was super saucy! Sauce on the pork chops with sauce on the side. 🙂 The recipe was adapted from a “staff-favorite” Food and Wine dish. I adapted the recipe by decreasing the olive oil and by incorporating the leftover sage-grapeseed oil into mashed potatoes with grilled scallions. This was a wonderful dish to make with my giant herb garden sage and parsley plants too. Very flavorful and tasty.

  • Grapeseed oil, for frying
  • 1/2 cup sage leaves
  • 1 medium-large shallot, minced
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 10 T cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • 1 cup lightly packed parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced celery heart with leaves
  • 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed, drained and minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced thyme
  • Kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • six 3/4-pound boneless pork chops, about 1 inch thick
  • 1 1/2 pounds gold potatoes
  • 6-8 scallions, grilled
  • milk, to taste
  1. In a small saucepan, heat 1/4 inch of grapeseed oil until shimmering. Add the sage and fry over moderate heat, stirring, until the sizzling stops and the leaves are crisp, 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain.
  2. In a mini food processor, mince the shallot. Add the vinegar and let stand for 5 minutes. Add the parsley, celery, capers and thyme and pulse to mince; season with salt and pepper. Pulse in the olive oil.
  3. Meanwhile, bring the potatoes to a boil in a large pot of salted water. Cook until tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and mash.
  4. Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Brush the pork chops with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Grill over moderate heat, turning once, until lightly charred and an instant-read thermometer inserted near the bone registers 135°, 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer the chops to a platter and let rest for 5 minutes.
  5. Lightly brush the scallions with olive oil. Grill until tender. Coarsely slice.
  6. Stir the fried sage leaves into the salsa verde and serve with the pork chops.
  7. Stir the sage-grapeseed oil into the mashed potatoes, small amounts at a time, with milk, to taste, to achieve desired texture. Stir in the chopped grilled scallions. Season with salt and pepper.

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One Year Ago:

Seared Pork Chops with Garlic Scape Chimichurri

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My weekly farm share is such a pleasure in my life. Everything is so beautiful and fresh. I love it! This time of year we receive garlic scapes- the curled flower top of a hardneck garlic plant. They have a more mild garlic flavor than the cloves- so seasonal, special, and delicious!

In the past, I have used garlic scapes in pesto, finely chopped and mixed into mashed red potatoes, and finely chopped into salads. This dish- by far- is my favorite application. I originally made this dish a few years ago and had been unable to relocate the recipe; this year I devoted a chunk of time to dig around for it. So happy to have it back in my life! 🙂

This recipe was adapted from the New York Times, contributed by Melissa Clark. The original sauce recipe uses green garlic- immature garlic which is pulled when growers are thinning crops. Green Garlic has more mild flavor than the cloves as well, but stronger flavor than garlic scapes.  I included the amount suggested for both in the recipe below. I’m a little late but I’m bringing this amazing dish to the party – FF#22!! Great!

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  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 3 tablespoons chopped mint, optional (I substituted 2 additional tablespoons of chopped chives)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic chives or regular chives
  • 4 to 6 thinly sliced garlic scapes or 2 tablespoons finely chopped green garlic
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon chile flakes
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 one-inch thick center cut boneless pork loin chops
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1.
Combine the herbs, garlic scapes (or green garlic), lemon juice, 1 teaspoon salt, and chile flakes. Stir in 1/2 cup oil. (I used a mini-food processor.)
2.
Season the meat with salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil and reduce heat to medium-high. Add the pork and cook without moving, 3 to 5 minutes. Flip and cook until meat is just cooked through, about 3 minutes more (to 140 degrees). Let rest 5 minutes before serving, topped with chimichurri.

One Year Ago:

Warm Potatoes with Salsa Verde

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I used the huge bunches of basil and parsley from my CSA share to make salsa verde to dress the beautiful red and yellow potatoes also from my CSA share. I love perfect recipes. 🙂 This recipe was adapted from Everyday Food, via The Golden Earthworm Farm. We ate it as part of a lovely summer meal (outside by candlelight! ) with grilled eggplant sandwiches and coleslaw. The feta cheese in the sandwiches worked really well with these flavors. Perfect!

Yield: Makes 1 1/2 cups

  • 3 cups mixed fresh herbs, such as basil, parsley, and cilantro (I used basil and parsley)
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained
  • 4 anchovy fillets
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • small red or yellow potatoes, cut into bite-size pieces
  1. In a food processor, combine herbs, garlic, and vinegar;  then add capers and anchovy fillets. Pulse until coarsely chopped, 20 seconds. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Cook potatoes in salted, boiling water until tender, about 15 minutes.
  3. Combine warm potatoes with salsa verde, to taste. (I used about 1/4 cup for approximately 1 quart of potatoes.)
Ideas for Using Additional Salsa Verde:
– Toss with steamed beans.
– Mix with crumbled feta and serve on crostini or crackers.
– Spoon over thinly sliced grilled skirt steak.
– Drizzle on baked salmon or shrimp.
– Use as a sandwich spread.
– Stir into drained and rinsed canned black beans.
– Add to scrambled eggs on toast.

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