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Mid-Summer's Night Salad
Makes 6 Servings
*1/2 bottle dark rum
*10-ounce bottle peach nectar
*6 striped bass filets (7-8 ounces each), skin on
*2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Summer herbs: basil, sage, chives, lavender, etc.
*Zest of one lemon and one lime
*2 cloves garlic, minced
*Coarse sea salt to taste
*1 tablespoon ground black pepper
*1 pound organic, young field lettuce
*3 heirloom tomatoes
*12 fingerling potatoes
*1/2 pound macadamia nuts, toasted
*4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Summer herbs: basil, sage, chives, lavender, etc.
*5 cloves garlic, minced
*1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
*1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
*1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
*1 red bell pepper
*1 green bell pepper
*1 yellow bell pepper
*2 jalapenos
*1 large ripe tomato
*1 small onion, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch rounds
*Lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste
1Preheat the grill to very, very hot!
2To prepare the fish, in a saucepan, bring the rum to simmer, do not flame and add the peach nectar. Reduce until syrupy and let cool to room temperature. Score the skin (cut barely through the skin) on the bass filets. Marinate in the herbs, zest, garlic, salt and pepper.
3To prepare the salad, pick and wash the field lettuce. Cut the tomatoes into 1/4-inch-thick half moons. Place potatoes in a pan, cover with cold, salted water and bring to a simmer. Cook until tender, drain and let cool. Once cool, cut the potatoes in half lengthwise.
4To prepare the piperade, mix the herbs, garlic, vinegar, olive oil and mustard together. Mix until smooth and emulsified. In separate containers, marinate the peppers, tomatoes and onions with the dressing.
5Grill the peppers until the skin blisters thoroughly. Grill the tomato and onion; let cool. Save the excess marinade from each. Peel, seed and rough chop the peppers, cutting the jalapenos very fine. Rough chop the onion and tomato. Combine everything together and mix with leftover marinade. Season with lemon juice, salt and pepper.
6To finish and plate, grill the fish, flesh-side-down first. Grill until nicely marked, turn onto the skin side and baste periodically with the rum-peach syrup. Grill until the fish is just cooked through with no translucent flesh.
7Toss the lettuce with potatoes, nuts and piperade. Divide the salad and potato evenly between six plates or bowls. Arrange the heirloom tomato slices on top and place the fish on salad directly from the grill. Serve immediately with grilled or toasted Tuscan-style bread.
Executive Chef Casey Riley, Castle Hill Inn & Resort, Newport, RI