flounder salad

July 12, 2013 § 35 Comments

I found fresh wild caught flounder at the market the other day.  My plan was to go home and make tacos.  I knew I wanted something lightly spiced with garlic and herbs. What I didn’t expect was the flavor and texture of this fish to be astoundingly delightful.  Once I tried a taste I knew this would be a great fish for salad and I gave up on the taco idea.


I dusted the flounder  lightly with flour, added a little salt and pepper and pan cooked it in hot olive oil.  Once the flounder was cooked, using the same pan, I added chopped garlic, cilantro, a squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkling of pimentón de la vera (sweet smoked paprika).  Topping the flounder with these crispy spicy bits was simply delectable.

The flounder was served on a bed of mixed wild greens, topped with grated purple cabbage, tzatziki, cilantro sprigs and a few lime slices.  I made the tzatziki before starting the fish.  I highly recommend using this in place of a salad dressing.

I n g r e d i e n t s

  • 1.5 pound fresh wild caught flounder filets
  • 4-5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika (or to taste)
  • three handfuls of mixed wild greens
  • 1/2 cup grated purple cabbage for serving
  • a few springs of cilantro for serving
  • lime slices for serving

Wash the flounder and pat it dry with paper towels.  Set a large skillet over medium high heat and add 3 tablespoons of olive oil.  Dust both sides with flour. Set the fish in the skillet, sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook for 3-5 minutes until golden.  Turn the fish and sprinkle the other side with salt and pepper.  Continue to cook until golden and crisp around the edges.  Remove the fish from the pan to clean paper towels.  Turn the heat to low and add cilantro and garlic to the skillet.  Mix around and when it has become aromatic add the lemon juice and allow it to bubble a little.  Sprinkle the smoked paprika, move around with a spatula until well combined and a bit crispy.  Turn off heat.

Plate each serving.  First a handful of mixed greens, fish, crispy/spicy bits, a little grated purple cabbage, tzaziki, cilantro sprig and a few lime slices.

Serves 4.


spinach with garlic, olive oil and hot pepper (spinaci con aglio, olio, e peperoncino)

June 21, 2013 § 35 Comments

A very nice uncomplicated classic Italian side dish.  Just a quick sauté of spinach, garlic, hot pepper flakes and olive oil.  An effortless side and profoundly delicious.  Ambitious as I am about serving greens at dinner sometimes I get stuck in a rut of humdrum salads.  I like to serve this as an alternative.   In my opinion, leafy greens never require much attention.  Steamed or sautéed and simply dressed in olive oil and a little salt is perfect.  However, sautéed and given a little spice is a fine improvement.   Any leafy green may be substituted and many times I have used chard, kale, mustard greens or beet greens in place of the spinach.   Keeping an eye on the greens as they cook is necessary.  Some greens such as chard and kale require a little more time in the sauté pan than spinach, beet greens or mustard.


A huge towering bowl of fresh spinach reduced to a small bowl of sautéed spinach.  

I n g r e d i e n t s

  • 2 pounds spinach, washed and dried (a little damp is ok)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • pinch of dried hot pepper flakes (to taste)
  • salt
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges

Once the spinach is clean, shake it to remove any excess liquid.  A little damp is good for cooking.  Warm the oil in a large, wide pot over medium low heat.  Add the garlic and hot pepper flakes.  Sauté until the garlic begins turning golden.  Add the spinach and a pinch or two of salt.  Turn up the heat, sauté until the spinach has turned a nice green hue.  Serve with lemon wedges.


Serves 4.

buon appetite.

cold spring day, hot spring soup

March 21, 2013 § 3 Comments

According to the calendar it is spring.  However, you wouldn’t know it according to the weather.  It has been very blustery and rainy here in Seattle.  Still wearing the down coat.

I have a cookbook I have been in love with for six years.  I use this book over and over again.  I feel it is the cookbook my mom would have wrote for me.  Although my mom’s cooking was very american, this book is very european.  The recipes are very simple and the outcome is truly comforting.

Here is the book:


Apples for Jam by Tessa Kiros

Since spring is here our markets are full of beautiful green vegetables.  Every imaginable leafy green, green scallions, english peas, snow peas, asparagus, the list goes on!  I stroll around the vegetable area wanting to bag it all up and figure out what I am going to do with it once I get it home.  I admit, I do shop like that often.  But, today, I remembered a soup recipe from Apples for Jam.  It seemed like it would be a perfect cold, blustery spring day meal.  This was probably the sixth time I made this soup.  It is so clean, nourishing and fresh.  Before discovering this recipe, I never imagined putting lettuce in my soup!  Oh, and here is a comment I heard at the dinner table tonight, “I have been waiting for this soup all my life!  Whenever I have wanted vegetable soup, this is what I imagined!

Here it is,


green vegetable soup with egg and lemon

  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 scallions, green and white parts, chopped
  • a couple leafy celery stalks, chopped
  • 4 small zucchini, cut into squares
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into squares
  • 2/3 cup fresh shelled peas
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded lettuce (romaine or butter)
  • 1 1/2 cups watercress tips
  • 6 cups water
  • salt
  • 2 1/3 cups shredded baby spinach leaves
  • 2 eggs
  • juice of one lemon
  • grated parmesan cheese, to serve

Heat olive oil in large heavy stockpot.  Gently sauté scallions and celery until soft, add zucchini, potatoes, peas, and half of the lettuce and watercress.


Add 6 cups water, salt well and bring to a boil.  Lower the heat and simmer, covered for 30 minutes, making sure the potatoes are soft.  Add the remaining lettuce and watercress and spinach and cook for a few more minutes.

Whisk the eggs in a bowl, add lemon juice and continue to whisk.  Add a couple of ladlefuls of hot broth from the soup to the eggs to acclimatize them.

Remove the soup from heat and add the egg mixture to the soup.  Continue to mix while putting the soup back on the lowest possible heat for just a few minutes, allowing the egg to cook without scrambling them.  Taste for salt.

Serve warm with a generous sprinkling of parmesan cheese.


Serves 6

buon appetite

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