STRIPED BASS WITH GRILLED LITTLE GEMS

SUMMER’S LEASE MAY HAVE ALL TOO SHORT A DATE, BUT FALL AND COLDER WEATHER USHER IN THE SEASON OF ROOT VEGETABLES, ALL MANNER OF KALE AND A CORNUCOPIA OF LETTUCES.  AMONG MY FAVORITES ARE LITTLE GEMS, WHICH ARE ABOUT THE SIZE OF BELGIAN ENDIVE, WITH TIGHT GREEN LEAVES FADING TO WHITE AT THE BASE.  WITH THEIR CRUNCHY TEXTURE AND MINERAL TASTE, THEY HOLD UP WELL TO BLUE CHEESE OR GARLIC DRESSINGS.  FOR THIS RECIPE, HOWEVER, I HALVED THEM LENGTHWISE AND GRILLED THEM ON TOP OF THE STOVE.  THE DRESSING IS THE SAME MIX I USE FOR CHICKEN WITH VINEGAR — ANCHOVIES, CHOPPED GARLIC AND ROSEMARY.  SAUTÉED BRIEFLY, DE-GLAZED WITH TARRAGON VINEGAR, THE DRESSING PAIRS NICELY WITH THE CHARRED LITTLE GEMS.  ALONG WITH STEAMED, SMASHED RUSSIAN FINGERLINGS, THEY FORM A PERFECT MEDLEY WITH PAN-COOKED STRIPED BASS.
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