Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Spring Dinner: Mediterranean Fish Dish & Radish Relished

Relish the Radish by atl10trader
Relish the Radish, a photo by atl10trader on Flickr.
Spring brings the cooking itch to a fever pitch. So many good ingredients make their appearance as the farmers' markets remerge from their hibernation. It can be overwhelming on what to choose for a spring evening meal.  Food writers like Kitty Greenwald thankfully know this and make it their mission to help.

Inspired by her recent article from the WSJ (Weekend Edition, April 6 - 7, 2013, "Relish the Radish"), I assembled this salad and added my own garlic onion pesto as a finishing touch. Matched with the salad was a Mediterranean cod dish with olives, roasted peppers, spring onions, and oregano. It made for a beautiful meal on a blissful spring evening.

Recipe for the radish and fennel salad is below along with the wine pairing.

Radish and Fennel Salad
Total Time: 15 minutes Serves: 4

In a large bowl, toss together 8-10 small to medium radishes, thinly shaved, 1 fennel bulb, thinly shaved, ½ tablespoon picked fennel fronds, 4 tablespoons toasted pine nuts, 2 ounces crumbled sheep's milk feta and 1½ tablespoons thinly sliced shallot. Season with salt and pepper.

In a small bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon lemon zest and 3 tablespoons olive oil. Toss salad with enough dressing to coat. Garnish with extra fennel fronds, feta and pine nuts, if desired.

—Adapted from Jenn Louis of Lincoln and Sunshine Tavern, Portland, Ore.

Garlic Onion Pesto Dressing
Total Time: 5 minutes

Roughly chop half a garlic onion (which looks very similar to a leek) by taking 1/4 from the green top end and 1/4 from the white bottom end (cut and discard the very bottom with the root ends).  Put into a high speed blender with 1 cup of olive oil.  Blend until frothy and thoroughly infused.  Drizzle a line on the plate and serve the salad on top.

Wine Pairing:
Can't go wrong with a Carneros, CA Chardonnay.  In this case a bottle of 2008 Vine Hill Winery Chardonnay, Clements Ridge Vineyard.  Lots of lemon notes and enough body to compliment the freshness of the fennel and radish as well as the zesty tomato base of the fish.

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