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Story - Food

Aug 18, 2019 5:46 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Salmon And Vegetables, Summer Simple And Delicious

Summer Squash and Shitake Mushrooms JANEEN SARLIN
Aug 19, 2019 2:10 PM

It’s the third week in August, either you’re rested enjoying every minute or exhausted and ready to return to a routine. Either way, it’s the ideal time to entertain the friends you’ve intended to invite along with new acquaintances you want to get to know better for a relaxed summer evening dinner. This means relaxed both in the kitchen as well as the dining room because everything is cooked ahead, served at room temperature, or reheated at the last minute.

Wild salmon is the centerpiece of the menu. Ask the fishmonger to remove the skin. To do it yourself, start at the tail end of the fish with one hand pulling on the skin while the other hand slides a very sharp knife under the flesh, facing the skin (at a 25 to 30 degree angle.) The flesh will be on top of the blade. It sounds harder than it is.

Bake the salmon just before guests arrive. It will remain slightly warm by the time you sit down for dinner. Two complementary sauces enhance the salmon; Flavorful Guacamole 2019 (recipe appeared in July 18, 2019 Seasonal Chef column) and Spinach Raita (recipe follows) present the sauces in separate bowls next to a platter of the salmon.

Yellow and green summer squash with fresh shitake mushrooms are the perfect side dish. Choose tender small squash for the best flavor. Complete the menu with blanched green beans drizzled with white balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil, a big bowl of fresh cherry tomatoes from the farmers market and slices of crusty whole grain bread. For dessert bowls of ice cream or sorbet topped with fresh cherries and pass a plate of cookies. What time is dinner served? Bon appetit!

ROASTED WILD SALMON(Serves 4 to 6)1 1/2 to 2 pounds wild salmon fillets, boneless, skinless, cut into serving-size pieces

Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling

1 large white onion, thinly sliced

About 1/2 cup dry vermouth

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

About 1 cup good quality mayonnaise

1 tablespoon chopped flat leaf parsley

1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano or basil

1 teaspoon red chili peppers, roughly chopped (red pepper flakes will work) or more to tasteTo prepare:Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Drizzle oil on the bottom of a heavy baking dish that will hold the fish in one layer. Scatter onion in the baking dish. Arrange salmon over the onion, drizzle vermouth over the salmon and season with salt and pepper.

In a small bowl, whisk parsley, oregano, and chili peppers into the mayonnaise. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Coat the surface of each serving of salmon with the herb/mayo mixture.

Bake in preheated oven until the topping is bubbly and lightly browned and the fish flakes, about 10 to 12 minutes. Do not overcook. Cooking time depends on the thickness of the fillet of salmon. Pass guacamole and spinach raita at the table.

SUMMER SQUASH AND SHIITAKE MUSHROOMS(Serves 4 to 6) 2 to 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

4 to 5 cloves garlic, minced

1 bunch scallions, trimmed and chopped

5 small to medium summer (yellow and green) squash cut into thin 1/4-inch discs

8 to 10 ounces shitake mushrooms, sliced 1/4-inch thick

1 tablespoon sesame seeds or more if desired

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to tasteTo prepare:In a large skillet over medium heat, add oil. Add garlic and cook until fragrant and golden, about 3 minutes. Add scallions and briefly sauté. Add squash and mushrooms and sauté until vegetables are cooked but still slightly firm, about 7 to 8 minutes. Add salt and pepper, taste and adjust the seasonings. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with sesame seeds. Make ahead, and reheat about 2 to 3 minutes in the microwave before serving.SPINACH RAITA(About 1 cup) 1, 10-ounce box frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and drained

(Or 2 pounds fresh spinach, wilted, chopped, and well drained)

1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt

1 to 2 Serrano chili peppers, cored, seeded, and finely chopped (to taste)

3 scallions, trimmed and finely chopped

About 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger

1 to 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice or more to taste

1/8 teaspoon ground coriander

3/4 teaspoon garam masala

Pinch sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste To prepare:Defrost the spinach, drain well, and place in clean linen towel or napkin and squeeze all the liquid out. Or if using fresh spinach, steam with a few drops of water until tender, remove from the pan, transfer to a board and chop well. Place the spinach in a towel and squeeze out all the liquid.

In a mixing bowl, whisk yogurt together with half of the chili peppers, scallions, ginger, lemon juice, coriander, and garam masala. Stir in the spinach, mix well, and add salt and pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until serving time.

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