Fit For A King
I happened to be at the Ta Lin Asian market, where you can buy large numbers of whole fish, many of which are too vast for our two-person household, let alone our oven. On impulse, I came home with a striped bass.
Meanwhile, Kathy was at the local farmers' market, where she purchased a strangely contorted cucumber and a number of heirloom tomatoes (red, yellow, green-zebra-striped).
And earlier in the week, I had been invited to help a neighbor clear the excess fruit off his peach trees, so there was a large bucket of peaches just sitting there on the sideboard.
So I stuffed the fish with tarragon, celery leaves, and lemon slices, and threw it on the grill. I sliced the tomatoes, and Kathy layered them with slices of fresh mozzarella. We didn't have the fresh basil leaves that a proper caprici salad requires, but we had pesto, and that worked great, along with a splash of EVOO.
Kathy also cut up the cucumber and dressed it with her soy sauce/wine vinegar/sesame oil dressing.
In the meantime I was reducing some white wine into which I had added lemon juice, garlic, scallions, and chopped onion. After gradually whisking in a whole stick of butter and straining out the solids, I had a lovely beurre blanc.
The fish came in from the grill, sizzling and tender. It turned to ambrosia under the beurre blanc. We had the two salads, both made with fresh vegetables, and a lovely contrast to one another.
And for dessert, Kathy had made a peach cobbler with the bucket of peaches I'd harvested.
The only drawback was the cleanup. I was too stuffed to clean the table immediately, which meant one of the cats got to the remains of the fish and dragged the fish skeleton about the table.
The master bedroom smelled strongly of fish that night. I looked under the furniture to see if the cats had dragged in a piece of fish to play with, but I eventually decided that it was the cats themselves that smelled of fish.
Somehow we could not eat half a stick of butter apiece, so I've got a lot of the beurre blanc left. Now what I have to do is think of lovely things to drizzle it on.