Team Slow Food NYC was victorious at this weekend's Seafood Throwdown. You can read all about it here. But how did they do it? These are the recipes, created and executed by Slow Food NYC board members Cristina Sciarra, Dee Dee Tiller, Kate Ferranti, Maria Cerretani, and Martina Rossi-Kenworthy.
They are perfect for summer cooking and now you can try them yourself.
White Bean and Summer Vegetable Salad
by Cristina Sciarra
This salad is best made in the full flush of summer, when market produce is at its very best. Feel free to add extra vegetables, like grill-roasted zucchini or eggplant, or your favorite combination of fresh herbs. This salad is a great accompaniment to nearly any protein, but it's also a winning picnic addition (or throughly delicious office lunch) all on its own — the flavor only improves after a few hours.
1. Shuck the corn. Bring a pot of water to a boil, and then cook the corn for 1-3 minutes, or just until the kernels brighten — fresh corn barely needs cooking. Remove the corn from the water and, when it's cool enough to handle, cut the kernels from the cob, and into a large bowl.
2. Meanwhile, mince the shallot. Move the minced shallot to a small bowl, along with the white wine vinegar. Use a spoon to toss the shallot with the vinegar, until the shallot is coated. (Let this sit about 10 minutes; the vinegar will soften the flavor of the shallot.)
3. Quarter the cherry and sun gold tomatoes, and add them to the large bowl, with the corn. Add the white beans as well.
4. Chiffonade the basil leaves, and mince the chives; add them to the large bowl, as well. Add the olive oil, the lemon juice and zest, the kosher salt, and the black pepper. Add the shallots and the vinegar. Use a spatuala (or your hands) to mix all the ingredients together. Wait a couple of minutes, and then give the salad a taste — add additional seasoning, or a splash more olive oil, according to your preferences.
Grated Zucchini and Mint Saute
by Kate Ferranti
In the summertime, zucchini and fresh herbs are abundant at the farmer's market — celebrate both with this quick and easy saute. Serve it as a side dish, or better yet, spooned hot over short pasta with a dollop of ricotta cheese.
2 medium zucchini (or 1 pound)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2-3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1. Grate the zucchini using the largest holes on a box grater. Move the zucchini to a colander (or to a piece of cheesecloth or a clean dish cloth), and squeeze out as much liquid as possible.
2. In a wide pan, warm the olive oil over medium-high heat. Saute the zucchini for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. (You want the zucchini to retain some crunch.) Stir in the lemon juice, the chopped mint, and a few cracks of black pepper and salt to taste. Give the zucchini a taste; adjust the seasonings as necessary.
Grilled Garlic Bread
by Kate Ferranti
If you have the grill going, you might as well make garlic bread! It's the perfect utensil to sop up your very best summer vegetable salads.
Start by slicing your favorite bread (Italian, ciabatta or sourdough work well) into 1-inch thick slices. Grill about 1-2 minutes per side on a medium-hot grill, until the bread is toasty, and you achieve a few blackened grill marks. Rub one side of each slice with a clove of freshly cut garlic. Brush liberally with good extra virgin olive oil and finish with a light sprinkling of sea salt.
Pan-Fried Long Island Sea Bass with Herbs
by Cristina Sciarra
Once you learn to fillet your own fish — and there are a million online videos to show you how — you likely won't go back to buying fillets alone: purchasing a whole fish is fast, economical, and works as built in quality control. Look for whole fish with firm flesh, a bright ocean smell (not a fishy one), and clear eyes. After filleting, use the head and bones for fish stock. Seafood risotto, anyone?
1. Move the fillets, skin side down, into a deep pan or casserole dish. Sprinkle each fillet with salt and pepper.
2. Chiffonade the basil, and mince the chives. Scatter the herbs over the sea bass fillets, along with the olive oil. Use your fingers to gently coat the fillets in oil. Allow the fillets to marinate, 30 minutes to 1 hour.
3. Heat a large, cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Pour a bit of the marinating oil into the pan, and let it get hot, but not smoking. Add the sea bass, skin side down, along with the marinating oil and herbs. (You can cook the fish in two batches, if your pan doesn't comfortably accomodate all four fillets.) Cook the fish for about 3-4 minutes, or until the fillets turn opaque around the edges. Flip the fish, and cook for just another minute.
4. Distribute the fish onto plates, spooning a bit of the herb oil on top. Serve warm.