For Foodie Friday this week, I wanted to make a meal using something fresh, straight from the garden. I found this pesto recipe a few years back on the Long Creek Herbs website, when they had named lemon balm as their herb of the year. We had been growing it to help repel mosquitoes, and I had no idea you could actually eat it!
Lemon balm is refreshing, and yes, lemony. It can be used in cooking, for both savory and sweet dishes, and also to make a delicious herbal tea. It gives a zingy tang to pesto, a nice change from the traditional basil. My version of the pesto recipe has a few additions, but you can view the original recipe here. This simple dish is a wonderful introduction to this delicious herb, and is not only healthful but cooks up super quick!
1 cup freshly picked lemon balm, new growth only
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves finely chopped garlic
2 T grated parmigiano reggiano cheese
1 t lemon zest
2 T chopped nuts (I used pistachios today, because that’s what I had on hand)
4 pieces white fish such as flounder or tilapia
Finely chop lemon balm and blend with next 5 ingredients. Alternatively, you can chop and mix them in a food processor. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Note: If you don’t like the “bite” of fresh garlic, you could certainly use roasted garlic, for a milder flavor, or just substitute chopped scallions or chives.
Bring ½ inch of water to boil in a sauté pan. Add fish and poach lightly for 2 – 5 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish. Mine were tiny, and were cooked through in just two minutes. When it flakes easily, it’s done. Meanwhile, heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a separate pan. Sauté fresh, washed spinach and halved cherry tomatoes for two minutes. Place spinach mixture on a plate, top with the poached fish, and slather on a good amount of the pesto. Add salt and pepper to taste. Delicious!
On another note, have you all been as riveted by Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution as we have been? As someone who puts three healthy, homemade meals on the table every single day, I have been shocked by the eating habits I’ve seen revealed on the show. Some of these kids have never been served fresh, homemade food! It’s pizza, French fries, chicken nuggets and sugary chocolate milk, day in and day out. The final episode was last week, but here’s the link to Jamie’s website. Check it out, and sign the petition! It’s time to get some healthy food on the plates of American teenagers, don’t you agree?
For Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum, go here. Then go cook something!