07.09.09: dinner (all hail the summer of Sockeye salmon with some agliata verde orzo!)

Sockeye Salmon with a White Wine Mustard Sauce with Piemontese-style Agliata

Sockeye Salmon with a White Wine Mustard Sauce with Piemontese-style Agliata Verde

While it’s been in the seafood case for a few weeks now, we’ve resisted the call of the sockeye because it had yet to come down in price to about 10-11 bucks a pound–until this week.  L was coming over to dinner and Michael had absolutely no idea what to cook, but she wanted to pay for it, so off they went to Stop & Shop to see what they could find.  I had proposed doing a light agliata verde–a Piemontese-style pesto of basil, mint, cheese, garlic and olive oil (and a little lemon thrown in for good measure), but it was up to the two of them to decide on a protien.

While we resisted the sockeye earlier in the week–the Alaskan cod looked too delcious and was cheap to boot–it felt right for the three of us, and Michael’s fail-safe mustard sauce is always delicious.  They also picked up some asparagus to roast, and while I can’t say that asparagus is my favorite veggie, I enjoyed these particular ones because they were thin, delicate, and not too fibrous.

For a meal that was conceived on the fly like this, the results were extremely satisfying, with the sauce adding just the right amount of flavor without being either bland or overwhelming.  And wouldn’t you know–the idea came from yet another Seriously Italian column, and it’s not the only one we’ve used in our cooking this week.  What can I say–Chef DePalma knows what comprises a simple, delicious, Italian-inspired meal!

Agliata Verde Piemontese

Adapted from Gina DePalma

  • 1 cup eached packed fresh basil and mint leaves
  • 3/4-1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup olive oil

Add leaves, cheese, lemon and garlic to a food processor, blender or mortar and pestle (if you’re feeling really ambitious), then season with salt and pepper.  Turning on the machine to puree (for a blender–use whatever is similar on a processor) drizzle in olive oil slowly, and blend until the whole thing turns into a smooth, but not too liquidy, sauce.  As Chef Gina mentions, this is perfect with either bread or hot pasta, and I bet it would also go well over beef, pork or chicken just as well.

Mangia! We’re headed to PA to visit our families as my grandmother is turning 90(!) on Sunday and we’re all headed to dinner Saturday evening–see you next week!

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