On Saturday, I'll be presenting the following recipes for CBC's Weekend Morning Show, with guest host, Laurie Hoogstraten.
Everyone's Tarragon is bursting forth these days. The French tarragon has the flavour, while the Russian, sadly, disappoints. Tarragon Pistou is a classic French sauce, similar to pesto, but without the cheese. I'm serving it in a cream sauce with mussels for this dish but is excellent as a garnish in soups, on grilled fish or on a toasted tomato sandwich. Fresh gorgeous PEI mussels are available now on sale at Gimli Fish.
The Perilla, or Shiso leaf kimchi is one of my favourites. The large herb is available at many Asian specialty markets. I'm going to try this with carrot tops to make kimchi as well.
Perilla Leaf Kimchi (Aka, Shiso leaf and Ooba leaf)
3 cups Perilla leaves (can use large mint leaves)
3 tbs fish sauce
1/4 cup thinly slice onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 stalks of green onion (or chives), chopped
1 tbs honey
1-2 tbs Korean hot pepper flakes
1-2 tbs good soy sauce
roasted sesame seeds
2 tbs thinly sliced carrot
1. Wash and drain the leaves well and let dry in a basket.
2. Make kimchi paste as follows; mix minced garlic, green onions, sliced onion, matchstick carrots, fish sauce, hot pepper flakes, honey and soy sauce well in a bowl. Spread paste onto leaves and stack as you coat them in the paste. WEAR GLOVES! Store in a non-metallic container(glass refrigerator box).
3. Enjoy Perilla Leaf kimchi with rice and sprinkle with sesame seeds before serving.
Tarragon Pistou (on fish or mussels)
1 clove garlic
2/3 cup fresh tarragon leaves
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup toasted walnut halves
1/4 cup olive oil, plus extra for searing the fish
2 1/2-lb fillets of boneless, seasonal fish (halibut, sole, pickerel, salmon)
Salt and freshly cracked pepper
Lemon for serving
In a blender or food processor, purée the garlic and add the tarragon and basil leaves, pulsing to start. Add the walnuts and season. Pulse until a fine grainy texture. Turn on and drizzle in olive oil.
Coat fish with a generous amount of pistou. Bake at 350ºF for 1- - 12 minutes, depending on thickness of the fillet. Serve immediately with lemon wedges. If serving with mussels, steam mussels in lemon and olive oil water with tarragon leaves and white wine in the water until mussels are open. Drizzle pistou over mussels and enjoy with BBQ Frites. Or, make a white sauce with cream, butter, tarragon pistou and white wine.