Tag Archives: healthy cooking

Fried Sardines

fried sardines

Fried Sardines

Everything I ate on my recent trip to the Basque country was incredible, including these simple fried sardines we enjoyed in San Sebastian. Nothing beats fresh ingredients enhanced with good olive oil, garlic, a little salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon. Add good company and a glass of wine and you’re all set!

8 fresh sardines, heads removed and gutted
salt and pepper
flour for dredging
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
olive oil for frying
lemon wedges

Slice the sardines lengthwise along the underside from head to tail, clean the cavity and remove the heads.

Heat enough oil to cover the bottom of a skillet but 1/4 inch.

Season the sardines with salt and pepper then lightly dredge them in the flour, shaking off the excess. Add the sardines to the hot oil and deep fry for 2 minutes on one side, until golden. Add the sliced garlic, turn the fish over and cook for 2 minutes on the other side.

Drain on paper towels and serve immediately with lemon wedges.

Serves 4 as an appetizer

Salmon with Basil Almond Pesto

salmon basil almond pesto

Salmon with Basil Almond Pesto

Salmon is rich in many nutrients that fuel sexual vitality from omega-3 fatty acids to high quality protein. Salmon’s entire life cycle is dedicated to spawning. After spending years at sea they travel hundreds of miles to their place of birth, fighting their way upstream. Many die in this effort to deposit and fertilize eggs in one specific spot.

Almonds have been a symbol of fertility throughout the ages, their aroma was thought to induce passion in a female. Basil was said to stimulate the sex drive, boost fertility and produce a general sense of well being for body and mind.

For the salmon:
1 ½ pounds salmon
salt and pepper

For the pesto:
1 garlic clove,
1/3 cup unsalted almonds, toasted
1 ½ cup basil
½ cup olive oil or basil avocado oil
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 475° F.

Salt and pepper the fish on both sides. Place the fish in a sheet pan and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or more depending on the thickness of the fish.

While the fish is in the oven, pulse the garlic clove in a food processor until finely chopped. Add the almonds and pulse until they are coarsely chopped. Add the fresh basil and ½ cup of the basil avocado oil and process until the basil is finely chopped. Add the cheese and pulse just until the pesto is combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Place in a bowl and set aside.

Remove from fish from the oven, place on a platter and serve with the pesto either on top or on the side.

Serves 6

photo credit:  Sarah Smith // Wellington Group Marketing & PR

Fennel, Orange and Olive Salad

fennel, olive and orange salad

Fennel, Orange and Olive Salad

This salad was prepared at my recent The Trail of Alexander the Great classes at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Getty Villa.

Fertile Macedonia not only provides a major portion of Greece’s produce, but also gave birth to its great king, Alexander. Alexander’s troops carried olives and legend has it that all along the routes they traversed the pits sprouted trees.

3 oranges
2 fennel bulbs, halved, trimmed and thinly sliced
5 ounces arugula
¼ cup Kalamata or oil cured olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
½ cup olive oil
salt and pepper

Prepare the oranges. Cut off the ends of oranges and, using a paring knife, remove the peel and pith following the curve of the fruit, then slice crosswise into thin rounds and set aside.

Slice the fennel bulbs into long thin strips and add to the oranges. Pit and coarsely chop the olives and toss into the orange and fennel mixture.

In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until the vinaigrette is emulsified. Taste and adjust seasoning.

When ready to serve, toss the arugula into the orange and fennel mixture. Add enough vinaigrette to lightly coat and serve immediately.

Serves 6

Salmon Patties with Cucumber Sauce

salmon patties with cucumber

Salmon Patties with Cucumber Sauce

Cucumbers are native to India where they have been cultivated for over 3,000 years. They were introduced to Europe by the ancient Greeks or Romans and made their way to American by the 16th century. Today they are popular all over the world.

For the patties:
1 ½ pounds salmon
10 ounces green beans
1 fresh jalapeño, finely chopped
1/3 cup basil, chopped
3 eggs
1 cup plain breadcrumbs
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 ½ teaspoons salt
avocado oil for frying

For the cucumber sauce:
1 English cucumber
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
5 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/3 cup olive or avocado oil
2 teaspoons soy sauce

Make the cucumber sauce. Finely chop the cucumber and place in a bowl. Place the vinegar and soy in a separate bowl with the salt, sugar and red pepper flakes. Whisk until sugar dissolves and slowly whisk in the oil. Set aside while you make the patties.

Remove the skin from the salmon, chop into pieces and place in a food processor. Pulse until coarse and place in a large bowl.

Cut away any damaged spots on the green beans, wash in cold water and very finely chop. You should have about 2 cups. Add the finely chopped jalapeño to the beans and mix well. Add the green bean mixture to the salmon along with the eggs, breadcrumbs, garlic, basil and salt. Mix well and make patties about 1-inch think and 3-inches across. Wet your hands to keep them from sticking to the salmon mixture.

Heat the oil in a skillet. When hot, add the croquettes and cook over medium-high heat for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until the salmon is cooked through. Meanwhile, stir soy sauce mixture into cucumbers. Serve patties warm or at room temperature with the cucumber sauce.

Serves 6

photo credit:  Sarah Smith // Wellington Group Marketing & PRE