A few days ago, we took a ferry ride to Vashon island to see our friends, Shauna, Danny and Lu. Yes, you know them – Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef. It was a cloudy Saturday morning. A peaceful one where the fog rolled in through the Sound. It was our first time in Vashon. An island the size of Manhattan with a population of 10,000. Most of them probably operate family farms and just enjoy a very laid back lifestyle.
We had a casual lunch at Shauna and Danny’s house while the children ran around in the garden and jumped on the trampoline.
The most bucolic picture.
I even got a sneak peek into their new book “Gluten-Free Girl Every Day”. A beautiful book with approachable and family friendly recipes, beautifully photographed by our friend Penny. I am so excited for them as this is the third book and they keep evolving, teaching and learning.
The conversation flowed that day. As we flipped through the pages, the dilemma of family meals came up. “How is family dinner at your house?” Shauna asked. C and I looked at each other. “Probably not as glamorous as it might seem” we shared.
The question of our family meals comes up quite a bit these days. I even talked about it on the radio this morning.
Our family meals are easy. Everyone knows that I will only cook one meal – no exceptions. “This is not a restaurant” I say jokingly. And it isn’t. Jon and Miren accompany us to the farmer’s market every weekend, I encourage them to pick produce and to ask questions. I believe this is key for them not to feel ingredients are strange or unfamiliar.
Having said this, our family meals are not always perfect.
The idea of children that eat mustard green flowers in a bunch or never complain about what is presented to them is not always accurate. C. loves meat more than he loves fish, Jon and Miren love fish more than they love meat. It’s always a compromise, but I must say, they are always grateful for what I cook for them.
In this black cod dish with shaved beets, carrots and radishes, Jon will eat carrots and will ask for a side of mâche. Miren on the other hand will eat it all with a side of avocado, no mâche. There is usually some alteration.
And I am ok with it. They grow and they learn.
As we all did.
On another note, just let you know that my food styling and photography workshop in Seattle on Saturday, July 20th is sold out.
However, due to high demand, we have opened up another session on Sunday, July 21st. For details and tickets, please visit HERE.
Thank you to all who signed up so quickly!
Wild Alaskan black cod with a salad of beets, carrots and radishes
4 (6-ounce) pieces black cod or halibut, skin removed
Juice of 2 small lemons
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
2 tablespoons cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon thyme leaves
Salt and pepper
4 baby striped beets, peeled and thinly sliced with a mandolin
3 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced with a mandolin
5 radishes, thinly sliced with a mandolin
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
A few mustard green flowers (optional)
Place the black cod in a shallow bowl. Season with salt and pepper on both sides. Pour in juice of 1 lemon, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of cilantro and 1 tablespoon of chives. Toss the fish in the marinade and set aside.
In a medium bowl, toss together the beets, carrots, radishes, onion, 1 tablespoon chives, 1 tablespoon cilantro leaves, mustard flowers, 2 tablespoons olive oil, juice of 1 lemon, salt and pepper. Set aside.
Heat a medium non-stick pan over medium high heat. Place the fish on the pan what used to be skin-side down. Cook for 2 minutes and gently flip the fish over. Finish cooking for another 2 or 3 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish. Black cod is an oily fish and it’s a bit harder to overcook it so don’t fret.
Serve the fish on a platter toped with the salad and a dollop of aioli. Serve immediately.