Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Seasonal, Local, Deliciounal

I talked about eating raw sorrel, in a salad, in my last post. I'm still not dead, so I guess I'll keep eating sorrel raw. It's crisp, tender, tangy. I love it in soup, but this is my new thang.
Kevin left a comment suggesting sorrel pesto, with fish.
That sounded great! I've been hankering for fish (for some reason, spring does that to me). Cranky has been hankying for fish for a while, too.
Today, Cranky returned home from his matinal perambulations (coffee, paper, store) and told me the fish guy he likes at our local market recommended today's fresh catch of San Francisco's historied local pescato, petrale sole. A nice, thick fillet of gentle, tasty white flatfish (yeah, the kind with both eyes on one side, but remember, these were uncreepy fillets).*
I said, "Why didn't you get some?"
He jumped! This market, by the way, is only a few hundred yards from our house, so a return trip was a mere carbon toeprint.
I've been very vague about appetite for some time, and only now do I feel the tide is turning. Fish? For a formerly unhungry person? The tide is in!
Well, it happens both Cranky and I had been dreaming about Kevin's pesto. That was a powerful appetizer.
I pulled several sorrel leaves and pounded them in the mortar with raw cashews, minced garlic, grated Parmesan, and good glugs of good olive oil. Victory! You might think handmade pesto is a chore, but the darned blender couldn't be bothered to pulverize the ingredients, and I was happy with my results. Me. Little skimpy-arms me.
Verdict: Gonna do this again. Saved some left over fish and pesto for fish tacos. I cleaned my plate.

*Sadly, most commercial petrale sole is caught by trawl, which can result in "bycatch," a euphemism for "stuff we're just gonna whack and throw back in." Trawling is also hard on the ocean bottom. The Pacific population is stable, and the fish is yummy and tender. What should I do?


Zoomie said...

Each time you buy it, ask at the fish counter if it was caught by trawling. If enough of us ask, the message gets through that we don't like it. I do this with grassfed meat, too, ask each time: Is it local? Is it pasture raised? Is it organic? I figure the drumbeat will be heard some day.

Zoomie said...

HCR? I like the new "light up" masthead - very cool - but HCR? Health Care Reform?

Kailyn said...

I usually check Seafood Watch. Sole is yellow on their list. While I'll occasionally buy stuff that has been classified as yellow, I usually try to avoid it.

Greg said...

Where do you get fresh fish in TL? Inquiring minds wanna know.Give it up miss thang.

Anonymous said...

I like a good sorrel pesto with fish too. I'm glad yours was a felicitous combination!

peter said...

There are other flatfish that are more sustainably caught- Alaskan halibut is a good alternative. Not all resources agree, but you can start here:

Also, next time try adding some cilantro or parsley (or nasturtium) to the sorrel for extra depth and goodness.

cookiecrumb said...

Zoomie: I would have, but Cranky bought it without me being there. Drumbeat, yeah. Thanks.

Kailyn: I checked Seafood Watch, and they didn't have a listing for petrale sole (which is really a flounder). But I checked Peter's suggestion, and it was much more hopeful.

Greg: Scotty's, of course! I couldn't live without that place.

Zia: Yeah, you were onto that before I was. Really good, and cheers, sister.

Peter: That was a heartening site. Herewith a quote:

Petrale Sole are a commercially important Pacific groundfish species targeted by U.S. and Canadian trawl vessels. Petrale Sole grow at a moderate rate and can live 25 years. They are at a medium level of abundance, but tight management and changes in oceanic conditions may enable the population to grow in the near future. Destructive bottom trawling for Petrale Sole fortunately takes place over their sand/mud habitats, which are not as damaged by trawling as other habitats.

dancingmorganmouse said...

That looks perfectly beautiful. And any leftover sorrel pesto, I'll bet that it would be wonderful spread on a nice thick slice of proper bread (only once and a while can't hurt, surely?)

dancingmorganmouse said...

Also, what's that in the middle of the rice?

Kevin said...

Tol' 'ja. And if you have enough, try making a chilled cream soup with it - or add it to chilled asparagus soup.

Kevin - who has a friend who sometimes calls him Sorrel Boy

Hungry Dog said...

I like the sound of this. Fish and pesto, good one. And the phrase "carbon toeprint" is going to start catching on, I'm sure of it.

namastenancy said...

I should not read this when I'm between breakfast and lunch and trying not to snack. I love sour tastes and the idea of making pesto with sorrel is very intriguing. I'm not a big fish eater but I can image it stirred into many different types of soup or even part of a tangy chicken dish (or, dare I say it, marinated and grilled tofu?)

kudzu said...

Glad that (contained) sorrel has kept producing for you! Like what you have been doing with it. When it's raw, a little goes a long way but it does perk things up beautifully.

I like it with beets in a vegetable borscht. (Can be served cold in hot weather....if we ever get any.)

cookiecrumb said...

Mouse: My doc says bread is just junk. But he thinks I can eat it. Ta for a lovely idea. (I can say ta!)
In the middle of the rice is a pat of white goat butter. Heaven.

Sorrel Boy: I'm dying for the sorrel-asparagus soup! My husband came up with the combination on his own, this morning, without my having mentioned your suggestion. eee

Dog: Help yourself to "carbon toeprint." Fees will be collected monthly. kidding.

Nancy: Of course you can use it on other things. Let me know what you come up with.

Kudzu: Thanks again. Oh, goodgod, sorrel and beet borscht? I am there. (More rain coming.)

dancingmorganmouse said...

I can't agree with your doctor, bread (good bread) is the stuff of life! White, processed, packaged bread isn't even bread!
ta ta for now :)

cookiecrumb said...

Mouse: He was probably just trying to cheer me up.