A Summer Sunday Lunch from “How to Eat a Peach”

That’s not what the lovely Diana Henry called it, but that’s what I’m calling it because that’s what it was. On this particular Sunday, I made “Crostini with Crushed Broad Beans & Nduja” along with “Roast Sea Bass with Fennl & Anise Aïoli” and “Tomatoes Provençales aux Anchois.”

It’s been an unusually hot summer here in London, which has been lovely, for the most part. I mean, it did start to get a bit old when all of our grass died and I had to wake up every morning at 7 a.m. to walk our dog before the heat of the day set in. But by and large, it’s been nice. However, living in such unusual heat did have its fair share of cooking challenges because often I just couldn’t face cooking because that would only make me hotter.

As Kirstin said before, this cookbook is unusual in that it’s organised by menu rather than courses. This does make it difficult to find something to make for, say, a hot Wednesday night. But if you’re planning on spending some time on a meal, which is often the case for me on Sundays, this would be a good book for that. She also helpfully organises the book by “Spring and Summer” and “Autumn and Winter,” which meant I kept to the first half of the book this time of year.

Roasting a whole sea bass is certainly a treat because it’s definitely more expensive than our usual meals. But it looks impressive when you bring it to the table, and once it’s all said and done, it’s a pretty easy dish to make, which would be perfect for a dinner party. We loved the fish.

Half of the family liked the the tomatoes provençales– the half of the family that loves tomatoes. The other half wasn’t so keen, but I don’t think that was a failure of the recipe, but instead a failure of their taste buds (I am in the half of the family that LOVES tomatoes). For what it’s worth, I cut up one of the leftover ones and added it to scrambled eggs the next morning for breakfast and it was delicious too.

Unfortunately, given that everything else was so good, the crostini was a total faff and definitely more trouble than it was worth. Cooking, podding and mashing the beans took a ridiculously long time. Crostini, which is just fancy toast, really is delicious but I’m not going to spend an hour getting the ingredient that goes on top ready. Next time I’ll follow her alternative suggestion and use peas instead and use the time I saved reading a good book.

But all in all, a delicious summer Sunday lunch.

 

A Summer Sunday Lunch from “How to Eat a Peach”

“Pan-Fried Sea Bass, Capers and Lemon” with “Green Bean and Little Gem Salad” from “Bill’s Italian Food”

 

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Anna: I am stealing Kirstin’s photo for this post in honour of the fact I made this because she loved it so much. All I can say is that we’ve had it three times in the last 3 weeks. It is quick, delicious, super easy and perfect for these hot summer evenings. Deceptively simple but absolutely wonderful. This book keeps on giving…..

To read Kirstin’s original post click here.

“Pan-Fried Sea Bass, Capers and Lemon” with “Green Bean and Little Gem Salad” from “Bill’s Italian Food”

“Pan-Fried Sea Bass, Capers and Lemon” with “Green Bean and Little Gem Salad” from “Bill’s Italian Food”

Kirstin: Miles, you’ve eaten all your fish!

Miles: I love it!

Kirstin: But you didn’t like this the last time I made it.

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Miles: Well I like it now!

Kirstin: So this is the second time I’ve made recipes that weren’t appreciated the first time around. That’s definitely a lesson learnt for me.

Tom: The fish is delicious. And I love it when you make this salad.

Kirstin: Do you remember when I made this salad and served it with just a bit of cheese? It’s a perfect summer salad and such beautiful greens. And my goodness, Ella you’ve eaten all your fish too!

Tom: I think that means we’ll be having this again.

Kirstin: Too right! I adore sea bass. And it was a good excuse to  make some sourdough ciabatta to go with too!

“Pan-Fried Sea Bass, Capers and Lemon” with “Green Bean and Little Gem Salad” from “Bill’s Italian Food”

“Crispy Fillet of Sea Bass with Herby Couscous” from “Gino’s Italian Escape”

Or, in Italian: Spigola in Padella con Cous Cous Alle Erbe

CBAMSeaBassMaureen: Fish Friday!

Tim: I understand that you were the one who picked sea bass, Nicholas.

Nicholas (10): I did! I thought it sounded nice, since I like sea bass and we always like couscous.

Andrew (14): That’s true, we do.

Maureen: What do you think?

Nicholas: I like it, but I don’t like the olives.

Andrew: I like it, but I don’t like the tomatoes.

Tim: I like it all.

Maureen: Me too. Sea bass is always a winner.

Tim: How much did it cost though?

Maureen:Yes, sea bass is a bit on the pricey side, as it cost almost £30 for two fish that produce four large fillets. But I think it’s worth it.

TIm: Yes, it’s good, but is it really five times better than the trout we had a few weeks ago? That was delicious, and such good value.

Maureen: That’s a fair point, the trout tasted just as good and was much, much cheaper to buy. The good thing is that we’ve tried all different sorts of fish with our Fish Friday experiment.

Tim: FFFTW! Fish Friday For The Win!

“Crispy Fillet of Sea Bass with Herby Couscous” from “Gino’s Italian Escape”

“Pan-fried sea bass & spicy rice” from “Recipes from my Mother for my Daughter”

Peter: This reminds me of that rice you used to get in a bag.

Anna: Funny you should say that…

Peter: Did it come in a bag?

Anna: No, but she describes the rice as retro. I think that’s the word she uses. Does it taste 70s to you?

Peter: I was on baby food in the 70s, don’t know about you…..

Anna: Not for all of the 70s.

Peter: I was a late developer.

Anna: That explains a lot. Back to the fish.

Peter: It was a nice, light supper.

Anna: I was a bit worried when the recipe called for 2 tablespoons of cumin seeds for the rice. I thought it must have been a typo, but I followed the recipe anyway and it worked. And we’ve got leftovers for lunch tomorrow too.

“Pan-fried sea bass & spicy rice” from “Recipes from my Mother for my Daughter”

“Roasted slashed fillet of seabass stuffed with herbs, baked on mushroom potatoes with salsa verde – a la Tony Blair” from “The Return of the Naked Chef”

Anna: I’m feeling very nostalgic, eating a dish named after Tony Blair. I’m sure you are too. Don’t give me that withering look.

Peter: Did Jamie’s next book have a recipe for T-bone steak?

Anna: New Labour, those were the days.  I thought this was going to be too much hassle for a mid-week meal, what with having to make the salsa verde and all. But it really wasn’t, and it tasted yum. It was a taste of the past.

Peter: It certainly was.

Anna: Do you remember, I made this at your flat in Balham for someone or other who came to dinner years and years and years ago? So long ago, I can’t even remember who we cooked it for! Was it Miff’s birthday?

Peter: I don’t think we’ll ever remember. We haven’t had bass in a while, I enjoyed this.

Anna: Me too. It was a bit decadent for a weeknight, but I will remember this recipe for when we’re having people to dinner.

Peter: It’s obviously a classic.

Anna: I’ve been so transported back to the early noughties that I’ve drunk far too much wine tonight. All I’m missing are the Marlboro Lights.

“Roasted slashed fillet of seabass stuffed with herbs, baked on mushroom potatoes with salsa verde – a la Tony Blair” from “The Return of the Naked Chef”

“Whole sea bass baked in a bag and stuffed with herbs” “Chocolate pots” from “The Return of the Naked Chef”

Kirstin: So Ella. What do you think about this sea bass?

Ella: I will like it more, if I get to stab your fish in the eyeball.

Kirstin: So that means you like it then?

Continue reading ““Whole sea bass baked in a bag and stuffed with herbs” “Chocolate pots” from “The Return of the Naked Chef””

“Whole sea bass baked in a bag and stuffed with herbs” “Chocolate pots” from “The Return of the Naked Chef”