A simple fall dish that uses lovely fall produce. Cavolo nero is also known as black kale or Tuscan cabbage, and has a strong, rounded flavour and less bitterness than regular kale.
4 fillets of trout, about 8 ounces (250 grams) each
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small red onion, cut in slices
1 yellow zucchini cut in 1-inch (2.5-cm) pieces
1 green zucchini, sliced
4 radishes, cut in quarters
1 bunch cavolo nero, sliced
1 cup fish or chicken stock
1 tablespoon fresh chopped tarragon
2 tablespoons chopped chives
Preheat oven to 450 F.
Pat trout skin dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat oil on high heat in an oven-proof skillet large enough to hold the trout (or use 2 skillets). Place trout in skillet, skin side down, and sear for 1 minute or until skin is seared. Remove from skillet and set aside on a plate.
Add red onion and zucchini to skillet and sauté for 3 minutes, then add radishes and cavolo nero. Stir everything together and cook another 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Pour over stock and tarragon, scraping the bottom of pan for and sticky bits. Bring to boil and simmer 3 minutes.
Place trout on top, skin side up, and place in oven. Bake 6 to 10 minutes or until white juices appear on trout. Remove skin before serving. Serve with vegetables and sauce in pan. Garnish with chives. Serves 4.
Grating some fresh horseradish over the pâté bumps up the taste even more.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Ready time: 10 minutes
Servings: 1 3/4 cup
250 grams (8 ounces) smoked white fish or trout
2 tablespoons horseradish with juice
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
Combine all the ingredients in a food processor. Pulse until smooth, but not puréed. Serve with crackers or crostini.
One big smorgasbord of appetizers could be suitably accompanied by a festive, dry sparkling wine. By all means keep it affordable, as in Italian Prosecco or Spanish cava. For an especially festive twist, turn that wine into a champagne cocktail by first dropping a sugar cube into the flute, soaking it with two or three dashes of cocktail bitters such as Angostura and adding a half-ounce of brandy. Then top up with sparkling wine. If serving just the smoked fish pâté, try riesling, either dry or off-dry. - Beppi Crosariol