Our trips to the local Crescent City Farmers Market, K-Jeans seafood and our own garden the past few weekends have netted in some really memorable meals. Nothing fancy, but it is amazing how good, simply prepared, ultra fresh ingredients can make for a really flavorful meal.
For example, yesterday we picked up those beautiful baby zucchini, lots of ripe red tomatoes, butter beans, freshly made cheese and milk at the CCFM, and then some gorgeous tilapia fillets at K-Jeans. We've got more cucumbers and basil coming from our garden that you can imagine, so we had lots of options for dinner!
I started with the zucchini: sliced them in half and salt and peppered them; heated a good amount of oil in a large skillet with some peperoncino and fried until lightly browned. The baby ones pack a ton of flavor, so I didn't need to add anything else!
I couldn't wait to eat those tomatoes so I chopped them and a few of our cucumbers in chunks, added a small amount of sliced onion, with a little fresh basil and oregano from the garden. Dressed simply in 1 part balsamic vinegar to 3 parts evoo, the tomatoes were deliciously sweet and the crunchy fresh cucumbers added the perfect texture.
Next I made the pesto. Kerry planted tons of basil this year and fresh pesto is a staple that we just love in the summer. I took 2 packed cups of basil, a clove of garlic, a pinch of sea salt, 3/4 cup of mainly freshly grated Parmesan cheese with a little Pecorino and 3 T. of pine nuts and threw it in the cuisinart. Pulsed until finely chopped and then slowly added in 1 cup of evoo and pulsed until oil and herb mixture are well blended. This made about 2 cups of pesto. Added freshly cooked pasta and topped with a little more cheese.
Kerry took care of the fish. She made a little lemon butter sauce with 1/2 stick melted butter whisked with 4 t. freshly squeezed lemon juice and a pinch each of cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper. She salt and peppered the fillets and dredged them in a little flour. Reheating the oil left from the zucchini fried them over med-high heat until just lightly browned. Sorry, I got to hungry to take any more pictures...
We packed our plates with veggies and pasta, added the fish with the lemon butter sauce spooned on top, and settled down to watch the first day of the Tour de France, our absolute favorite sporting event of the year! We drank a great little Italian white wine, the Vinosia Malvasia, cheered Lance on as we cleaned our plates and commented on how lucky we are to eat such great food. Everything was simple, fresh, local and delicious and we finished it all off with one of my freshly baked Biscotti Amaretti.
A great performance by Lance, and superb meal, what a perfect Saturday night!