A stop to Whole Foods found me staking out the seafood display. Whenever I'm in front of these types of cases, I get the urge to choose one of the foods without any real plan for what I'm going to do. This time it was a nice piece of cod. After some searching, I decided to use this recipe from Bon Appetit (December 2008). It's pretty much cod covered in a mushroom topping flavored with white wine, lemon zest and Parmesan. I subbed out the chanterelles (since they are so hard to find) with a combination of baby bellas and sliced button mushrooms. I don't often consider mushrooms with fish. In fact, I usually picture mushrooms on steaks and burgers. But this mushroom "ragout" added some earthiness to this surf dish, but was brightened by the touches of lemon and white wine. And leftovers made for good lunches all week long.
As a side, I had some eggplant from my CSA last week, so I made a very easy dish: roasted eggplant slices. You slice up your eggplant crosswise, then toss it in oil, salt, pepper, and whatever spices you want to use (I chose thyme). Then spread it out on a greased baking sheet and bake it at 450 degrees for about a half hour until it is tender but not starting to brown or crisp up. The great part about this dish is you don't have to worry about salting the eggplant and letting it sit for a while to remove the bitterness. The roasting does all that for you by caramelizing some of the sugars in this purple veggie. This method also works great with cauliflower. Just be warned: you will need a lot of vegetables for this for two reasons. First, they cook down in size greatly. Second, they go extremely fast, even with those who do not care for vegetables. So give it a shot with your fussy eaters of any age.
The other fish I saw at Whole Foods was this salmon crusted with nuts. I had some feta and cherry tomatoes from my CSA, so I made a side Greek salad (pitted kalamata olives, sliced seedless cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, sliced red onion, and feta) with a buttermilk-scallion-cilantro dressing. This was a quick-fix dinner because I just baked the salmon until it was just cooked through and served it with the salad. The great thing about pre-treated fish is that all you have to do is cook it. It is cheating, to a degree, but everyone needs to cut some corners every once in a while. Plus, by cooking at home I'm still saving the time and calories of going out to a restaurant. So why not eat simply when you just don't have the time to crust or marinate your meat yourself before cooking it.