What, you’re thinking, STILL no bread? No pasta? No BEER!!! Yes, Passover continues until Saturday evening. Because the rule of thumb on Jewish holidays is to take something fun and exciting and do it over and over and over until you say, “Dayenu!” Which is Hebrew for “Uncle!”
But if you’ve been following this series on Foodaism, you’ll find that the eight days of Passover offer a chance to cook really good food long after the seder is gone.
Tonight’s menu comes from two small, locals-only restaurants we discovered last year in Europe.
The salad is from Great Queen Street in the Covent Garden district of London. It’s a packed gastropub, whose menu reads as if they’ve raided every farmhouse within 100 kilometers of The City. Local cheeses, local ciders, local offal—you get the idea. The “Ticklemore” in the recipe is a farmhouse goat cheese produced on the southern English coast. There’s just a small sign out front of Queen High Street, and inside a room full of high-spirited English yuppies. The food is simple and easy to do quickly at home, or at least this dish is….
On a side street in Barcelona, Arcana offered us slightly fussy cooking in a kind of 80s vibe, but the staff and customers seemed to be all locals, and very friendly. Maybe not popular enough though: I can’t seem to find the restaurant listing on Yelp anymore. Happy almost-the-end-Passover:
Cauliflower, Courgette, Mint and Ticklemore
1 large cauliflower, divided into florets
3 small zucchini, cubed or sliced in 1/4 inch slices
1 small bunch mint, chopped
1 T. chives, chopped
8 ounces Ticklemore, firm goat cheese or feta, cubed
1 T. wine vinegar or very dry white wine
3 T. olive oil
salt and pepper
Heat olive oil in a skillet. Add cauliflower and cook til just tender. Add zucchini and continue to cook until just tender, then add cheese until it just begins to warm. Remove from heat and let cool. Add vinegar, olive oil, mint, salt and pepper and toss well. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Branzino with celery puree and roasted cherry tomatoes “Arcana” Barcelona
4 fresh branzino, boned (or 4 sole filets)
1 large celery root
1 pint cherry tomatoes
3 T. olive oil
salt and pepper
Take a saucepan big enough to hold your celery root. Add water to come up halfway, add salt and pepper, and cook, covered, until very tender. Remove root to a blender, and puree with olive oil and cooking liquid to make a smooth, slightly runny and very white puree. Set aside.
Heat a heavy skillet. When very hot add a little olive oil, then cherry tomatoes. Cook until blistered, about 5 minutes. Add some salt and pepper. Stir, then remove onto a plate and set aside.
Season branzino or filets with salt, pepper, olive oil and lemon juice. Wipe pan clean, reheat, add olive oil, add fish and cook over high heat on each side until cooked through, about 8-10 minutes total. You will need to do this in shifts.
To serve, dish a little puree on each plate. Lay a fish beside it, and nest some cherry tomatos by that. Serve with more lemon.