The other night I was invited to a summer dinner party and was tasked to make two side dishes. I was pretty excited about my responsibility as I had recently come across an email from Food & Wine featuring best summer sides. I decided on the Warm Potato Salad with Arugula and a Napa Cabbage Salad and, to my delight, they were big hits. I pretty much followed the recipes to a tee for both dishes with the exception of the potato salad, to which I added sauteed prosciutto bits (I recommend this addition) and used baby red potatoes. What I like about this dish is that instead of boiling potatoes, you roast them on high heat and then toss with a dressing, prosciutto or bacon, and then fresh arugula, which eventually almost melts into the salad. The cabbage salad had a slight Asian flair and I found that the flavors infused the longer I let the dressing marinate the cabbage leaves.
For the main course, our host challenged us with grilling a whole piece of branzino. Thanks to Fresh Direct, the fish was gutted so it was easy to stuff the cavity with lemon and cilantro. Once the fish was generously greased with olive oil, we grilled the entire fish for several minutes on each side waiting for the skin to "give" before flipping. This was my first experience with grilling whole fish and it was quite pleasant (again, thanks to Fresh Direct). With just a little salt and pepper, this fish is healthful and quite flavorful. The only misstep made was accidentally dropping the grilled fish eyes into the grill. Oh well, there is always a next time!
Stay tuned for the 100th anniversary post of Les Foodités. Coming soon!