my favorite dinner!

Last night I made my favorite dinner in a long time... I don't know about you but my husband has been traveling for the last couple of weeks and although we do eat fine dinners just me and the kids, we tend to be VERY simple. The night before it was sushi rolls w/salad, a really simple pasta the night before.. you get the picture. But last night I went all out, it was like a date night at home with the kids (AND it was just a plain old Wednesday...).

We had Branzino (Mediterranean sea bass) baked 'sotto sale' or in salt, steamed radish tops and roasted potatoes (or as my son says - french fries!). Lately our local Whole Foods has had Branzino on hand and I think it's really nice to cook a whole fish (would rather CATCH the fish but maybe next time!) so that the kids see that we are eating fish and don't think that it's chicken all the time! For this reason I like to bring it to the table and serve it that way so that they can see me fillet the fish and everything.

Baking the fish in salt makes it incredibly tender and delicious, it just melts in your mouth. It's very easy, lie the fish on a bed of salt, add some olive oil to fish, fill the cavity with whatever herbs you have on hand (in this case I only had basil, oregano and sage), and then take salt and pack it onto the top of the fish too. Depending on the size of the fish you will use about 1/2 - 3/4 cup salt, and you can see how it almost cracks off when you are done. Use a good salt too like Si salt or a good sea salt. Italians like to add more olive oil (really GOOD quality olive oil) and salt and pepper to the fish on your plate but I don't think it needs it! You decide!?

Toss potatoes cut into large slivers with olive oil and rosemary, salt and pepper and put them on a roasting sheet and bake for a bit before you put the fish in a 400 degree oven. Put the fish in for the last 20 minutes. In the meantime cut the tops off radishes and wash really well (they are usually grown in sandy/dirt so it's always hard to get all that dirt out!) chop up and steam just a bit. Add a bit of salt and pepper before serving. The kids really like radish tops, they have just a watery flavor, radish tops are very high in vitamin C and an amazing source of calcium, they clean your blood, and all they while taste great! I also like to garnish the plate with some cut up radishes for color!

There you go... a REALLY easy DELICIOUS meal for you and your kids!

Oh and I almost forgot... the whole meal cost = Branzino $8.60 + 4 potatoes $2 + radishes (2 bunches) $2.40 = approx. $13

can't beat that for three people! even at McDonalds....