Thursday, February 28, 2008

February 28: Salad of Smoked Trout, Radicchio, and Grapefruit

Ask me why I don't have any recipes for fish on this site. Quick, ask me. Well, I'll tell you: I am afraid of fish.

I have a pretty eclectic palate, I think, and I don't consider myself a fussy eater. But when it comes to fish, I'm Sam I Am. I do not like them in a car, I do not like them in a bar. I will not eat them here or there, I will not eat them anywhere.

Unless we're talking about smoked fish. And then I am on board. I can't tell you why I'm okay with smoked fish, except that I grew up close to Lake Michigan, and often vacationed there. When we did, my mother held an afternoon Happy Hour daily. We would come up from the beach to whatever condo or house we were renting and fix snacks and drinks and take them to the deck for a couple of hours before dinner. When it comes to liking snacktime better than an actual meal, I've been guilty as charged for my whole life.

Being near the lake, there was often smoked whitefish or lake trout available when we were vacationing, so that was often part of the Happy Hour snack buffet, along with veggies and dip, chips and salsa, hummus and pita bread, cheese and crackers, antipasto, stuffed mushrooms, or any other easy little easy snacks we had around. Even though I was never interested in fish in any other form, smoked fish is something I associate with vacation, summertime, long afternoons, and having nothing much to think about but cute boys on the beach.

I saw this recipe on another food blog this week, and I am aching to try it. In my head, I can see how it'll all come together: the sweet smokiness of the trout, the sweet-sour of the grapefruit, the bitter of the raddichio. This sounds like an amazing first course for an amazing meal, like maybe a roast tenderloin with crispy potatoes from the oven, followed by a poached pear with caramel sauce. I really need to invite people for dinner more often.

This serves 6. It originated in Food and Wine magazine nine years ago.

Daniel Boulud's Salad of Smoked Trout, Pink Grapefruit, and Radicchio

1 cup of bread in 1/2" cubes
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large pink grapefruit
1/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 head radicchio, about 3/4 pound
1 smoked trout (about 8 oz)
1/2 cup walnut pieces
2 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro, plus additional whole leaves for garnish
3 small scallions, white parts only, thinly sliced

1. Toss the bread cubes with the garlic and oil and then bake them in a 350 degree oven until the bread cubes are golden, about 7 minutes

2. Toast the walnut pieces in 350 degree oven until they are fragrant, about 5 minutes

3. Peel the grapefruit, and then peel the membranes off the individual sections. Do this over a bowl so you can catch the juice also. Set aside six sections for garnish and cut the remaining slices into small (approximately 1/2”) pieces.

4. Whisk together the cream and vinegar and season with salt and pepper.

5. Tear the radicchio leaves into bite-sized pieces. Toss with enough dressing to moisten well. Add the smoked trout, walnuts, chopped cilantro, scallions, grapefruit pieces, and croutons. Add salt and pepper, then toss well, adding more dressing if needed. Taste and adjust seasoning.

6. Garnish with reserved cilantro and reserved grapefruit. Serve with additional dressing on the side.

Note: Daniel Boloud suggests reserving 12 of the largest radicchio leaves and serve the salad in those, two to a person.

1 comment:

merseydotes said...

Check out this month's Real Simple (it's available online). There is an article/recipes about no excuses for not eating fish. I made the Crispy Pacific Cod with Parmesan-Butter Dipping Sauce and Broccoli the other night and it was quick and tasty.