Seasonal Chef: Bright, Sweet Strawberries of June

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It’s June 18 and already over 80 degrees. How did that happen? I was just remarking the other day that we don’t have seasons anymore. Winter never seemed to end and Spring flew by in a snap. The good news is with the bright hot sun comes bushels and bushels of glorious fruits and vegetables to our farmers markets. This week you will find juicy, gorgeous strawberries, amongst the beautiful leafy greens. I promise they won’t disappoint. Tart, sweet and incredibly delicious. Completely addictive, you literally can’t just eat one. A perfect start to the day could be strawberries in yogurt topped with Granonut, a delicious granola I found at the John Jay Farm Market last weekend. Strawberries over cereal, or even in a smoothie. Savory-sweet is the name of the game with Seasonal Chef, as many of you know, especially when it comes to me and fruit; and today’s recipe is just that!

Last week I hit the mother load at the farmers market:

mizuna

Mizuna from Hilltop Hanover Farm;

spinach

spinach from Gaia’s Breath Farm, picked up at the John Jay Farm Market;

chocolate mint

and chocolate mint from J & A Farm.  If you’ve never tried chocolate mint, you simply must. The leaves have a delightful minty chocolate flavor, reminiscent of the classic cookie we all love. I found this bunch at the Pleasantville Farmers Market.

Kontoulis balsamic vinegar

To tie it all together a balsamic vinegar from Kontoulis Family, at the Rye Down to Earth Market.

swordfish

On my drive home from the last farmer’s market I stopped at Port Chester Seafood and picked up a couple of swordfish steaks. Swordfish is a very easy fish to pan fry or grill. It has a nice dense texture and holds up very well. My favorite way to prepare it is with fresh herbs on one side. After a good seasoning of olive oil, salt and pepper I topped the steaks with a combination of finely chopped parsley and the chocolate mint. After searing on the herb side and cooking halfway, I flip it and cook the other side. Simple!

swordfish and strawberry

Believe it or not, this dish transported very well to our outdoor Father’s Day picnic over the weekend, and was a huge hit. It’s a perfect meal for a hot summer night … or lunch for that matter! To see my quick and easy recipe click this link: Fresh Herb Swordfish with Market Greens and Strawberries.

In today’s paper there is a comprehensive list of Westchester and Rockland Counties Farmers Markets, with the addition of all my demos coming up. Check the end of the article for dates and times. Hope to see you very soon, at the Farmer’s Market!

Buon appetito!

One year ago: Getting Creative with Spinach
Two years ago: Strawberries

Fresh Herb Swordfish with Market Greens and Strawberries

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

This dish is truly under 30 minutes, start to finish. Perfect for a hot summer day!

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch fresh parsley
  • 1 bunch fresh chocolate mint, found at the: J&A Farm booth, in Pleasantville
  • Swordfish steaks
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • --
  • 1 bunch of mizuna
  • 2 loose cups of baby spinach
  • 1/2 - 1 pint of farmers market strawberries, stemmed and sliced in half or quarters
  • Chèvre cheese
  • 1/4 cup of good balsamic vinegar, I used: Kontoulis Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons good honey, I used: Sohha Honey

Instructions

  1. FOR THE FISH: Pick the leaves from the stems and finely mince equal parts of parsley and mint. Should have about a tablespoon for each steak. Season the fish with a drizzle of olive oil and a good sprinkling of salt and pepper on both sides. Press the herbs into the fish spreading in an even layer on one side.
  2. Place a non-stick pan over medium heat and drizzle with a little oil. Sear the herb side and watch it cook halfway. About 3-4 minutes, depending on the thickness. Turn it over and finish cooking on the other side. The fish should be somewhat firm when you press on it, but not hard.
  3. FOR THE SALAD: While the fish cooks roughly chop the mizuna and place in a salad spinner with the spinach. Rinse and spin under cool water. Divide between the plates. Divide the strawberries over the greens. Gently break apart the chèvre and divide that as well. About 1 - 2 oz per plate.
  4. Place the dressing ingredients in a small jar with a lid, along with 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper and shake well to combine. Using a tablespoon drizzle the dressing over the greens.
  5. Slice the swordfish against the grain and lay over the salad. Drizzle the remainder of the dressing to taste.

Notes

The salad ingredients will make two generous salads, or four smaller salads.

http://food.lohudblogs.com/2014/06/18/seasonal-chef-strawberries-2/

Fresh Herb Swordfish with Market Greens and Strawberries

1 bunch fresh parsley
1 bunch fresh chocolate mint, found at the: J&A Farm booth in Pleasantville
Swordfish steaks
Olive oil
Kosher salt
Ground black pepper

1 bunch of mizuna
2 loose cups of baby spinach
1/2 – 1 pint of farmers market strawberries, stemmed and sliced in half or quarters
Chèvre cheese
1/4 cup of good balsamic vinegar, I used Kontoulis Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons good honey, I used Sohha Honey

FOR THE FISH:
1. Pick the leaves from the stems and finely mince equal parts of parsley and mint. Should have about a tablespoon for each steak. Season the fish with a drizzle of olive oil and a good sprinkling of salt and pepper on both sides. Press the herbs into the fish spreading in an even layer on one side.
2. Place a non-stick pan over medium heat and drizzle with a little oil. Sear the herb side and watch it cook halfway. About 3-4 minutes, depending on the thickness. Turn it over and finish cooking on the other side. The fish should be somewhat firm when you press on it, but not hard.

FOR THE SALAD:
3. While the fish cooks roughly chop the mizuna and place in a salad spinner with the spinach. Rinse and spin under cool water. Divide between the plates. Divide the strawberries over the greens. Gently break apart the chèvre and divide that as well. About 1 – 2 oz per plate.
Place the dressing ingredients in a small jar with a lid, along with 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper and shake well to combine. Using a tablespoon drizzle the dressing over the greens.
Slice the swordfish against the grain and lay over the salad. Drizzle the remainder of the dressing to taste.

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About Author

Seasonal Chef blogger Maria Reina comes to the world of food as a third career, spending a great portion of her adult life in the field of Human Resources. With her private company Bella Cucina Maria she is a personal chef, caterer and recreational cooking class teacher in Westchester. She’s an avid food television watcher and cookbook collector, always looking for a new take on a traditional dish. In her free time she loves hanging out at local farmer’s markets, chatting it up with the farmers and doing cooking demos with their seasonal ingredients. In addition to her blog, which is loaded with easy recipes, you can follow her on Facebook (Bella Cucina Maria), Twitter (Bellacucinam), Instagram (Bellacucinam) and Pinterest (Bellacucinam).

1 Comment

  1. Granonut sounds great – where can I get it? Other than a farm market since I can’t get there – is there a website?
    Thank you

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