Today it's the right time for two more summery recipes to accompany our star, tarragon.
Grilled Trout with Tarragon
The delicate taste of fish, especially trout, mixes quite well with the inviting green flavor of tarragon. I will teach you two tricks for using herbs with meat or fish, when you decide to grill them. After cleaning the fish (or meat, if that be the case) with cold water and removing the excessive moist with paper towels (which, in case of grilled products, allows for a nice crust to be formed instead of the surface boiling on the grill), you rub the interior with your herb of choice. Personally, I often prefer to grill the fish in a simple way, without many condiments, since it has a delicate flavor and taste we want to feel when eating it. I don't even use salt, often times, and add the condiments, under the form of a sauce or dip, including the salt, after the fish is already grilled.
Back to our troutie! For the first method, just rub the tarragon inside the fish and carefully place it on the grill. The fish meat will be gently infused with the distinctive herb or herb mix.
The second method, that I used this time, is to just grill the fish, remove from the grill and place in your barbecue pot or tray, and quickly, when it's still hot, sprinkle the herb all over the fish and cover with aluminium foil or a metal lid. This way, the steam coming from the fish, while covered, will infuse the herbs and then condensate onto the meat, flavoring it.
Before serving this delicious, simple, healthy trout, add salt, pepper and lots of lemon juice, or, for a different taste, use a light version of mujdei for a specific mixture with the tarragon flavor. (for pickling tarragon, check the recipe here).
Kapia and Courgette Warm Salad
Kapia Peppers are used in many recipes in Romania, for their sweet flavor, when cooked (for example zacusca - stand by for it!). This is another simple, yet delicious recipe that can also be enjoyed as a separate vegetarian meal. Grill the peppers as they are (without removing the seeds beforehand) - this prevents them to dry excessively during grilling. Only after they cool a little, remove the skin and the seeds and place them in a salad bowl. The trick with peppers, just like with eggplants - by Romanian traditional recipes, at least - is cooking them directly on the flame. If you use your in-houses stove, it might be a little messy, but put them directly on the flame, and rotate frequently. It's much more pleasant and tastier if you can cook them outside, on the grill, in which case allow for direct flames to touch them now and then. With this method, you get a distinctive smokey, charred flavor that cannot be achieved otherwise.
I used the same method with the courgette - let them be "burnt" now and then - which led to a charred, chipsy result. When vegetables are being marinaded in wet marinade before the barbecue, they come out juicy and don't dry. But if you want to get them crunchy, as I did here, in order for their specific, natural flavor to come out through grilling, just put them on the fire as they are. Seasoning them when hot with wet condiments like oil and vinegar or lemon will restore part of the moisture anyway. Which is exactly what I did with this warm salad, by quickly adding the olive oil and balsamic vinegar (I specifically recommend the combo olive oil + balsamic for warm pepper salads), and salt, for them to absorb them and become a sweet/sour/perfumed and perrrrfect! mix.
A melting pot experience, in more than one way. Welcome to our Epicurean adventure!