Gentleman's Relish and meyer lemon salsa

gentleman's relish

meyer lemon salsa

Looking for something new and fun to do for a dinner party, I cracked open my copy of Sunday Suppers at Lucques by Suzanne Goin. I had a really lovely piece of locally caught halibut and she has a recipe for a fresh herbal meyer lemon salsa to serve with halibut, so I thought I’d try that. Then, a few pages away, I found a recipe for Gentleman’s Relish. A Victorian-era spread once thought unsuitable for ladies’ palates, it’s really just an anchovy herb butter – and that just sounded amazing. So I made that, too, to spread on pieces of sourdough baguette before dinner. Both things went over well.

butter

Any recipe that starts with a bowl of butter is fun to make.

anchovies

This was also a good excuse to buy some new anchovies (we were out). This jar should last us a while.

fresh garden herbs

Both the relish and salsa are perfect things to make this time of year, when the chives are coming up and the mint is beginning to explode out of the ground. The salsa calls for savory, which I don’t currently grow, but Goin recommends substituting with equal parts fresh thyme, mint and rosemary, so I did that. The result, with the spicy-tart meyer lemons, was quite fabulous. I liked it with the halibut, but I liked it even more spread on pan-fried rainbow trout the next day. I wonder what else it would be good on – chicken, maybe?

The Gentleman’s Relish was amazing, too – I played a little loose with the quantities, but I think it could have taken quite a bit more anchovy. We put the little bit of leftover spread on steaks a few days later, which was absolutely all right. Also on steamed asparagus. Although it rapidly becomes all to easy to eat a vast quantity of butter this way. If you think that’s a problem.

Gentleman’s Relish

from Sunday Suppers at Lucques: Seasonal Recipes from Market to Table by Suzanne Goin

  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp minced anchovy
  • 2 tsp minced shallot
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp lemon zest
  • pinch of cayenne
  • 1 tsp minced parsley
  • 1 tsp minced chives
  • salt and pepper to taste

Let the butter soften, then add all the other ingredients and mash it up together. Serve at room temperature for easy spreading.

gentleman's relish

Meyer Lemon Salsa

from Sunday Suppers at Lucques: Seasonal Recipes from Market to Table by Suzanne Goin

  • 2 meyer lemons
  • 2 Tbsp minced shallot
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp minced savory (or equal parts thyme, mint and rosemary)
  • 1 Tbsp sliced mint
  • 2 Tbsp chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper

Cut the rind off the lemons and remove the membranes from each section, keeping any juice that is expressed. Set aside the lemon sections, cutting them into smaller pieces if you like. Put the reserved lemon juice in a bowl with the shallots and a pinch of salt. Whisk in the olive oil, then stir in the lemon pieces and other ingredients.

supreming meyer lemons

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roasted tomatillo salsa

tomatillo

tomatillo

Someday I’m going to find a spot in my tiny yard to grow tomatillos. A big, gangly, tangled green jungle so we can have as much green salsa as we could possibly want. In the meantime, we just keep buying big bags of them at the farmer’s market – at least until the farmers run out.

tomatillos

When I first discovered tomatillos, I was annoyed at their stickiness and not really sure what to do with them. Now I rather enjoy the process of peeling off the papery husks and rinsing off the gummy coating. Like shelling beans, it can be a contemplative activity. And if you do a few extra pounds while you’re at it, you can toss the cleaned tomatillos into a bag and put them in the freezer for later.

roasted tomatillos & serranos

And as for what to do with them, my favorite recipe (so far) is Rick Bayless’ Roasted Tomatillo & Serrano Salsa, from his book Mexican Kitchen. It’s not that different from a traditional salsa verde, where you generally boil the tomatillos and puree them with onion. But in this version, you use the broiler to give the tomatillos and peppers some char before blending and simmering. See below for the recipe, it’s a good one.

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