Sunday Dinner: Celery Salad, Roasted Halibut and Polenta

This is what was for dinner yesterday:

Parmesan, Walnut and Celery Salad
Parmesan Polenta

Lemon and Herb Roasted Halibut
The menu is identical to one that Ina Garten featured in an episode of her show (I forget which one...) The celery salad is what really caught my eye because I'd never had such a celery-centric salad before. This was tasty and different; the parmesan and anchovy added a subtle savoriness and was balanced with the brightness of lemon juice. 
The three dishes work well together. The super crunchy salad added some welcome texture to what would otherwise be a rather softly textured meal. The polenta contributed richness to the two other leaner dishes.

Recipes after the jump!


Parmesan, Walnut and Celery Salad

Serves 4-6

1/2 cup good olive oil
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (3 lemons)
2 tablespoons minced shallots
1 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
5 cups thinly sliced celery hearts, tender leaves included, sliced on an angle (about 12 stalks)
4-ounce chunk aged Parmesan cheese
2/3 cup toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
Whole flat-leaf parsley leaves

At least 1 hour before you plan to serve the salad, whisk together
the olive oil, lemon zest, 1/4 cup of lemon juice, the shallots, celery
seed, celery salt, anchovy paste, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon
pepper. Place the celery in a mixing bowl and toss it with the
remaining 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
(Even though these ingredients are in the dressing, believe me—
this step makes a difference.) Add enough dressing to moisten well.
Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour to allow the celery to crisp
and the flavors to develop.

When ready to serve, arrange the celery on a platter, shave the
Parmesan onto the celery with a vegetable peeler, then sprinkle
with walnuts, parsley leaves, salt, and pepper and serve immediately.

Parmesan Polenta 

Serves 6 

4 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 cloves)
1 cup yellow cornmeal, preferably stone-ground
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
¼ cup crème fraîche
2 tablespoons (¼ stick) unsalted butter

Place the chicken stock in a large saucepan. Add the garlic and cook over medium-high heat until the stock comes to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and very slowly whisk in the cornmeal, whisking constantly to make sure there are no lumps. Switch to a wooden spoon, add the salt and pepper, and simmer, stirring almost constantly, for 10 minutes, until thick. Be sure to scrape the bottom of the pan thoroughly while you’re stirring. Off the heat, stir in the Parmesan, crème fraîche, and butter. Taste for seasonings and serve hot with extra Parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top.

Herb Roasted Fish

For each serving:
8 ounces boneless fish fillet, such as snapper or cod
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon good olive oil
1 large sprig fresh thyme
1 tablespoon brined capers, rinsed
Egg wash

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Place the fish fillet on a piece of parchment paper and sprinkle it with the salt and pepper. Drizzle the lemon juice and olive oil over the top of the fillet. Lay the thyme on top and sprinkle capers over top.
Brush the egg wash around the edge of the parchment paper and fold it in half. Carefully fold the edge of the parchment paper under and around the fish to make a package. Place the package on a sheet pan and cook for 12 to 15 minutes, until the fish is cooked through. Serve hot in the parchment paper.
Recipes adapted from How Easy is That? by Ina Garten
Images property of beets and bites

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