Thursday, November 19, 2009

Herbs First and Last

The few tomatoes that I left on the vine have plopped to the ground in mushy heaps, making ready for fresh sprouts in May, and the green beans finally stopped producing and bear only a few last dry pods for me to harvest. But just as in April, the herb patch is green, perky, and full of flavor. So, having forgotten a flashlight, at 5:30 last night I felt around in the dark, grabbed what I could, and snipped off big armfulls of what turned out to be parsely, sage, chives, and mint. In one of my food magazines last month, I saw a recipe for a kind of sauce to make with some herb selection. Prepared with the vague memory of bright green drizzled over fleshy fish, I poured and blended, then we all happily chomped and smacked. One warning: this sauce alone, if you taste it while you're making it, seems too salty and too tart. But spread over fish, it's just perfect.

Fish with fresh herb sauce

Salt and pepper 4 sturdy fish filets (my favorite is salmon because the pink flesh looks so nice against the green sauce) and set aside.

Place into blender:

about 1 cup chives
about 1 cup parsley
3-4 sprigs mint
1 sprig sage
1 T coarse salt
3-4 T olive oil
2-3 T lemon or lime juice
1 tsp. pepper

Pulse until completely smooth. Scoop and scrape into a bowl and set aside.

Heat 1-2T olive oil in a heavy pan. Sear fish, turning once, 5-7 minutes on each side.

Serve immediately, spooning sauce over the fish. Put the rest on the table - everyone wanted more! Perfect with rice or potatoes (mashed, baked, boiled...).


1) Instead of using a blender, chop the herbs very finely and then mix with a wooden spoon in a bowl.

2) In the blender, add about 1/3 cup water to make a very light sauce that you can drizzle, in pretty patterns, over the fish.