JiT has been hard at work this week creating a book from the photos he took in Italy. Each page that I’ve seen brings me back to the Italian coutryside and I feel my fingers itching to grasp at a cup of hot, frothy cappuccino or a tall glass of impossibly delicious Chianti Classico…yum!
As I mentioned in my previous post, we spent the first few days of our trip at a beautiful villa in the Chianti region of Tuscany. The pictures here were all taken in or around the villa. The picture of the clementines in particular makes me absolutely swoon. Each morning, they set out an arrangement of fresh, seasonal fruit that was so beautiful I could hardly resist reaching out to take a bite. Although I didn’t get the chance while I was there (too much cheese to eat….priorities), I’m thrilled that clementines are currently in season here in the U.S. If you haven’t already, you should start seeing charming wooden boxes of them popping up at your grocery store soon.
In fact, the current issue of Bon Appetite includes an entire spread of lovely clementine recipes that I’ve been inspired to try. One in particular I adapted this week and it was incredible. Although I didn’t manage to snap a picture, I wanted to share the recipe anyhow, because it was utterly wonderful; simple to prepare and delightfully healthy (we’re weaning ourselves off of the cheese and gelato diet). In fact, this recipe could be a nice way to start your Thanksgiving week…something light and fresh early in the week to act as counterpoint to next Thursday’s gluttony.
Parchment Baked Orange Roughy with Clementine Gremolata
1 large or 2 small cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 cup Italian parsley leaves (leaves from about 5 or 6 sprigs)
1 Tbs. kosher salt
2 Tbs. olive oil, divided
4 filets orange roughy
salt & pepper to taste
4 12-inch squares parchment
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Peel clementines and set the flesh aside for another use. Lay the peel out, white, pithy-side up and, using a paring knife, scrape most of the white, bitter pith away from the orange skin and discard. Cut peels into 1 inch wide strips and set about a fourth of the peels aside.
Place the remaining 3/4 of the peels into a food processor, along with the garlic and parsley. Chop until the mixture resembles a course pesto. If needed, scrape down the sides with a spatulate to ensure the pieces are evenly chopped. Sprinkle in the salt and 1 Tbs. of olive oil and pulse on last time to combine smoothly. Scrape mixture into a small bowl and set aside.
Meanwhile, place one filet of fish in the center of a piece of parchment. Season lightly with salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil, then sprinke a few of the reserves pieces of clementine peel over the top. Fold the parchment into a packet around the fish by gathering two of the ends above the fish filet and crimping several times, then fold the open ends like you would a giftwrapped package and fold under the fish to fasten. Place on a rimmed cookie sheet. Repeat with the remaining portions of fish.
Place baking sheet in the center of preheated oven and bake for 15 – 20 minutes. Near the end of the baking cycle, open one of the packets to check the fish for doneness. Fish should be opaque in the center and flaky but still moist. When cooked, remove from the oven and carefully take fish out of the packets. Dollop a bit of the gremolata on top of each filet and serve immediately.