Happy July 4th to all our American friends!
Sometimes in the North East of the North American continent, summer arrives overnight.
On the island of Martha’s Vineyard we have been patiently waiting for the cool, wet, June to flip and unload summer’s bounty upon us. This finally happened this week with temperatures in the 80s and the water finally showing signs that the warm gulf stream Atlantic current is nudging closer to the east coast.
For us, this means the Striped Bass, one of the most prized fish in these waters, are moving up the coast and into our waters.
This delicious fish, which yields thick, juicy, filets, is robust enough to take on a huge array of our other summer ingredients found on the island.
This recipe features the mighty Bass with a squash blossom ravioli as a base.
We will post the ravioli as a separate recipe, as making these lovely pillows of goodness deserves its own forum.
When we don’t have the time to make our own, a great alternative is supermarket bought Giovanni Rana Artichoke Raviolis.
This guy is the man!
A major Italian commercial pasta operation, his pasta is rolled thin, the fillings are simple and they freeze well.
Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass, Squash Blossom Ravioli,
Confit Morning Glory Tomatoes, Chorizo Crumbs and Herb Salad.
1 side of striped bass, skinned
4 lbs. vine tomatoes of different colors and varieties
16 zucchini flower ravioli
1 chorizo sausage
8 baby artichokes cut in halves
2 cups of mixed pickled herbs (chervil, tarragon, basil, parsley, chive)
1/2 bulb garlic
Extra virgin olive oil
3 cups vegetable oil
Salt and pepper
1 cup rice flour
Preheat oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit
Cut bass into 8 pieces and leave in the fridge until 1/2 hour before ready to cook.
Arrange the tomatoes on a roasting tray. Peel and slice the garlic and scatter around the tomatoes. Drizzle a generous amount of extra virgin olive oil all over the tomatoes and place in the middle of the oven. Cook slowly for 2 hours. Remove and allow to cool.
Gently press down on the cooked tomatoes, pick out the skins which will have come free of the flesh of the tomatoes. Transfer to a medium saucepan and set aside.
Chop the chorizo into very fine mince and cook in a sauté pan over medium heat. The bright orange/red oil will separate after a while. Strain this off and keep separate. When the chorizo becomes very crisp crumbs, transfer to a paper towel and pat to remove any excess oil. Set aside.
Pick and snip the herbs and toss together gently. Keep refrigerated in an airtight container.
To finish the dish off:
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a couple of large pinches of salt.
Heat a large skillet on medium/high heat, add a drizzle of olive oil and a knob of butter.
Pat the fish dry and season with salt and pepper. Place the fish into the pan and cook until golden crust has formed and the flesh is becoming opaque.
Meanwhile, heat 3 cups of vegetable oil in a large wok to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Dredge the artichokes through rice flour and shake off excess. Fry until crisp and golden. Remove and place on a wire rack in a sheet pan. Keep warm.
Heat tomatoes gently.
When the fish is nearly cooked through, turn over and remove pan from heat. Allow to rest for 5 or more minutes.
Drop raviolis into boiling water, cook for 5 minutes and drain. Return to pot and add a small amount of the tomato liquid to the raviolis. Shake gently.
Toss herbs in a small amount of extra virgin olive oil, zest of a lemon, and a squeeze of lemon juice.
Make sure all plates are warm.
Assemble the plates by placing a few tomatoes on the center of the plate. Place 3 raviolis on top of tomatoes.
Place one piece of fish on top of the pasta.
Arrange a couple of crisp artichokes around the plate.
Sprinkle chorizo crumbs over the fish and then a pinch of herb salad.
Spoon the pan sauces around the fish and drizzle a little chorizo oil around the outside of the tomatoes.