• Green Olive-Lemon Relish (With Sous-Vide Halibut)

    Green Olive-Lemon Relish With Sous-Vide Halibut.

    Please pardon the somewhat strange title. Usually we would lead with the fish, but this dish really is all about the relish.

    We are big fans of salsa verde here at the farm, it works on veggies, chicken and fish- particularly during the summer. But we are always looking to branch out and discover new flavors, and we happened to find this recipe for green olive-lemon relish from Judy Rodgers of the Zuni Cafe in San Francisco. And Judy Rodgers notes that this relish works on fish, chicken, pork and grilled vegetables and is easy to make. So we gave it a try.

    Few ingredients, but lots of flavor.

    And we are glad we did. This relish is a simple mix of firm green olives (Lucques or Ceregnola are good), diced lemon, chopped almonds, a touch of capers, lemon juice and olive oil. The flavor profile is very similar to salsa verde but the olives, almonds and lemon pieces give the relish more body and heft. The relish has a nice balance of sour and briny notes from the olives, lemon and capers, while the almond and olive oil add nutty and sweet notes.

    We served the relish with sous-vide halibut at 122 degrees using our basic method for sous-vide fish (here is a link to a good oven-based method) and it was a lovely summer meal. This relish would work very well with any firm white fish- so we suggest you use whatever cooking method you like and then simply add the relish. And if you grill eggplant, squash or zucchini, this relish will be a great partner.

    Pit and chop the olives. Add chopped lemon, almonds and capers.

    Combine with olive oil and lemon juice.

    The relish goes with fish, chicken, pork or grilled vegetables. We made sous-vide halibut.

    Making the relish couldn’t be easier. Skin, roast and chop some almonds (or use store-bought roasted almonds, unsalted Marconas would be very good), dice 1/4 of a lemon, pit and chop the olives, add some capers and a bit of extra lemon juice and then add the olive oil. A neat trick here is that you can add varying amounts of olive oil and still have a good relish. If you want the relish chunky, add less oil, if you want to use it more like a sauce (good with fish) add a little more oil. Both versions taste great. So if you like salsa verde in your summer meals, give this relish a try, it will be a very tasty change of pace (you might even like it better than salsa verde).

    Green Olive-Lemon Relish:

    (Adapted from Judy Rodgers’ Zuni Cafe Cookbook)

    Notes Before You Start:

    • Rodgers suggests a few types of olives for the relish including Lucques, Ceregnola, Ascolane and Picholine. But she notes that if the Picholines (or any of the olives) seem extremely briny to blanche them for 2 minutes to soften their flavor.
    • If you want to skin and roast your almonds, simply blanche raw almonds in boiling water for 10-15 seconds, then cool and skin (the skin will come off easily). Then roast the almonds in a 300 degree oven for about 15 minutes, or until they color slightly. Make extra- freshly roasted almonds are very tasty on their own.

    What You Get: A bright, tasty relish for fish, chicken, pork or vegetables.

    What You Need: No special equipment required.

    How Long? 5-10 minutes of chopping. And extra 15 minutes if roasting your own almonds. Anytime dish.


    (Makes about 1 – 1 and 1/2 cups)

    • 12 roasted, skinned almonds (see above if you want to DIY)
    • 1 cup good green olives like Lucques, Ceregnola, Ascolane or Picholine
    • 1/4 of a lemon
    • 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed
    • 1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of good olive oil
    • Salt and pepper

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  • Grilled Eggplant With Salsa Verde (And A One Lovely Blog Award!)

    Grilled eggplant with salsa verde.

    Recipe below, but please read on..

    We recently received a nomination for the One Lovely Blog award from our friend Erin at Erin’s DC Kitchen. We are big fans of Erin’s take on simple, tasty food and the overall positive spirit of her blog. Check out her site, it will be a pleasant visit. Thanks Erin!

    So now we must pass the award along to one lovely blogger and tell you seven things about ourselves (not sure there is much left, but we will try..;-). As for the nomination, we nominate Cooking in Sens, a blog about cooking and life in Burgundy. If we cook and take photos half as good, we would be thrilled. We love the blog and have made a few of the recipes with great success. Please check them out.

    So here are seven more things about us:

    1. We do read cookbooks for fun. And our kids are starting as well. Now we need to put them to work.
    2. As noted before, we have less success with zucchini than we should. Somewhat embarrassing.
    3. We buy too much kitchen gear, but are getting better…a little. Sort of. Maybe.
    4. Sometimes we cook simple food because we don’t want extra dishes.
    5. Once we got to 40, wine started giving us the occasional headache. Cocktails and beer took over at the farm.
    6. Sometimes there are so many gophers we (I) feel like Bill Murray in Caddyshack (and want to “solve” the problem with similar measures).
    7. We can’t wait for tomatoes and fresh corn…like it really bothers us it’s not here yet.

    Now back to cooking. The Grilled Eggplant with Salsa Verde recipe is a simple one, but worth sharing simply because it answers the question of what to do with eggplant. Such a beautiful vegetable (technically a berry, btw), but often many cooks just put it in Eggplant Parmesan or Baba Ghanoush. Both great dishes, but we like quick preparations and grilling the eggplant does the trick. As for extra flavor, salsa verde packs a big punch from the herbs and oil. It is great on many dishes and we use it often on fish, like this dish. But it is great on almost any grilled vegetable.

    Just a few ingredients for the eggplant.

    Make your salsa verde and slice the eggplant.

    Brush oil on the eggplant, sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook on a medium grill.

    Assembling and cooking this dish is as simple as it gets.  Most of the work with salsa verde is in chopping the herbs and then adding the oil and other ingredients. For the eggplant, simply slice it lengthwise into 1/4 inch slices and brush with olive oil and then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook on a medium grill until browned on the outside and soft in the center. The temperature here is key, if the fire is too hot the outside will burn before the center is soft. Lower the heat a bit and take your time. A grill pan indoors will also work, again use medium heat and take your time. You will still need less than 10 minutes. And then you can enjoy one lovely dish.

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