Today we are preparing an elegant Cod and Spinach Roulade for the French Friday with Dorie group.
It is nice to be cooking fish again…
…it is springtime and the first fresh vegetables of the season have appeared in the markets, lending themselves to the preparation of a fresh tomato sauce and wild garlic pesto to accompany the fish roulades.
The tomato-lemon sauce in Dorie´s recipe calls for butter, garlic, tomatoes and the peel from one half preserved lemon. A nice and fruity fresh sauce.
Then onto the preparation of the wild garlic pesto. My very favorite spring pesto of all times. Unlike common cultivated garlic, it is the leaves that are eaten rather than the bulbs and the taste is more delicate too, similar to the flavor of chives. The leaves can be eaten raw or lightly cooked.
Be sure to wash them well - some recipes also call for blanching the leaves for a few minutes in boiling water. The leaves add a subtle, tangy flavor to salads, stir-fries and soups. On the weekend I will be preparing a wild garlic tart with the remaining leaves.
Towards the end of the season they bloom and the white flowers are also edible.
Once the tomato sauce and the pesto were done, it was time to prepare the cod roulades. The filling of the roulades consists of fresh spinach, onion, garlic and the other half of the peel of the preserved lemon. The roulades itself contains cod, egg whites and very cold cream that get processed in the food processor until the ingredients turn into a thick mousse. Then the fish mousse gets spread on some plastic wrap, the spinach filling gets placed on the fish mousse and then all rolled up and steamed for a good ten minutes. After a little rest, I sliced the roulades carefully and served them with the gently heated tomato sauce and a bit of the wild garlic pesto.
In France, roulades are a very common way to prepare fish or thinly cut meat and it is also common to place a filling inside the rolled shape. And I must say that it makes for a very pretty and elegant presentation.
Recipe for the Wild Garlic Pesto (Bärlauch Pesto)
- 80 grams wild garlic leaves
- 50 grams Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino Romano (or other hard cheese)
- 50 grams ground almonds (or other nuts such as pine nuts)
- 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 100 ml extra virgin olive oil, plus some more for topping up the jar (I used lemon infused olive oil)
- Wash the wild garlic leaves and dry them carefully
- Finely grate the cheese.
- Grind the almonds in a food processor and add the cheese, salt and pepper.
- Add about 1/2 of the wild garlic leaves and blend.
- Repeat with the remaining leaves.
- Add the olive oil and blend.
- Put in jar and top up with oil so that the pesto is covered and close lid.
To see how well the Cod and Spinach Roulades of all the other Doristas turned out, please click here.