December 07, 2009

Sunday Night Dinner with Rich...the Farmers' Market Edition

We haven't had much of a chance to do a leisurely Sunday night cookbook "date" dinner in quite a while.  The Open House is two weeks away (major cookie baking this weekend); charity ball on Saturday night (in honour of the Bollywood theme, I wore a beautiful borrowed sari and lots of safety pins!); and both of us trying to rid ourselves of the season's first - and hopefully only - cold.

But we did go to the Green Barn Farmers' Market, at the Artscape Wychwood Barns and even though December has put a definite crimp in the offerings, there was still plenty of good things to buy - and eat.

...including Nuala's delicious scones and Irish soda bread.  Yummy when toasted and slathered with butter!

First thing to buy was the "main" for dinner and we found halibut from Goldwater Seafoods, a Canadian company specialising in Nova Scotian seafood.

The greens came from Everdale's great selection of goodies.  A bag of assorted greens, perfect for sauting, for only $3.00.

Vicki's Veggies provided the delicious salad greens and parsnips. 

Dinner is a very simple affair.  Halibut slow poached in olive with lemon and dill; braising greens sauteed in garlic, shallots and chili pepper flakes, with some sauteed baby parsnips added in for crunch and nutty flavour; and Asian greens dressed simply with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.  The perfect early winter dinner, filled with local goodness.

Sunday Night Farmers' Market Dinner for Two

Oven-poached Halibut in Olive Oil
adapted from The Gourmet Cookbook
serves two to three

1 lb. halibut fillet
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
2 tbsp capers, rinsed
1 1/2 large lemons, thinly sliced
3 tbsps. chopped fresh dill, with additional for garnish
1 1/2 - 2 c. olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 250F

2. Pat fish dry, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Let stand for 10 minutes. Chop 1 tbsp of the capers

3. Arrange half of lemon slices in one layer in an 8-inch round glass baking dish. Arrange fish in one layer over lemons. Top with chopped and remaining whole capers, remaining lemons slices, and the dill, and pour oil over the fish until barely covered.

4. Bake, covered, until fish just flakes and is cooked through, about 1 hour.

Serve fish with some of the lemon slices, capers and olive oil spooned on top. Garnish with dill if desired.

Sauteed Autumn Greens
serves two generously

4 cups assorted kales and autumn greens, washed (do not dry the leaves)
1 tbsp olive oil
2 small garlic cloves, minced
1 medium shallot, minced
Pinch red chili pepper flakes, or to taste
Baby parsnips
Water as needed (approx. 1/4 cup)

1.  Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick skillet until hot. 

2.  Add the garlic and shallots and saute for a couple of minutes or until fragrant.  Add red chili pepper flakes and saute for one minute more.

3.  Add any tougher kale to the pan first and saute for until softened.  Add remaining greens; stir and cover for a couple of minutes until greens are softened but not wilted. Remove and set aside in serving bowl.

4. In the same pan, add the parsnips and stir until hot. Add water, cover pan, and saute on high heat, about five minutes or until parsnips are tender but still crunchy.  Add the greens, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

Set the table and serve it forth!