Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Two easy, fresh summertime suppers

Pan-seared salmon with bean/tomato salad
1. Tortellini (or ravioli) with a savory vegetarian sauce, and 2. Pan-seared salmon over a green bean-tomato salad.
For the pasta, start with purchased filled pasta cooked according to package directions. Make a one-pan sauce by sauteing chopped aromatic vegetables in olive oil, add liquid (chicken or vegetable stock work nicely) and any other veggies you have on hand, toss with the drained pasta and top with a little cheese. The sauce pictured turned out fabulous thanks to chopped fennel bulb -- something I consider a magic ingredient -- and a few delicate fiddlehead ferns that I was happy to find at the farmers market.
Tortellini with Fennel, Fiddleheads and Mushrooms
For the salmon dinner, select thick fillets, salt and pepper both sides and sear quickly on both sides until brown, just a couple of minutes. Reduce heat and let the fish cook for another few minutes. Be careful not to overcook salmon (or most fish); you can always put it back in the pan if you feel it's too rare, but there's no way to fix something that has been cooked too long. Make a salad of cooked green beans -- fresh from your garden or a farm stand, if possible -- with chunks of fresh tomatoes, chopped herbs, oil, vinegar, and any seasonings you like. Pile some salad on the plate and place a salmon fillet on top.

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