Summer is the best and the worst time of year for cooking. Here we are with our garden’s bounty of tomatoes, basil, corn, squash, zucchini and other delicious offerings overflowing on our kitchen counter-tops. And though our appetites are hearty from long days of hiking, swimming, boating and concert-going, those long days come with a desire to be outside, enjoying them, not trapped inside of our hot kitchens, prepping for dinner. (Not to mention that scorching-summer-heat-induced feeling of utter laziness that has at times made me think my brain might actually be melting.) But it would be too sad to let all of those beautiful vegetables go to waste. So when the sun finally begins to set and a cooler breeze flows in through my kitchen windows, I start thinking about those lovely vegetables. And this is what I make.
Prosciutto-Wrapped White Seabass with Summer Vegetable Broth and Spicy Aioli
- 3 large zucchini, thinly sliced
- 3 yellow squash, thinly sliced
- 4 shallots, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil, divided, plus 1/4 cup basil leaves
- 1 cup assorted color mini heirloom tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup early girl tomatoes, quartered
- Fresh corn kernels removed from one ear of corn
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup dry white wine (such as Sauvignon Blanc)
- 1/2 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
- 4 6-ounce fillets of White Seabass (or any flaky white fish)
- 1/4 lb of prosciutto, thinly sliced
- 1 large egg yolk
- 3/4 cup olive or grapeseed oil
- 1 clove of garlic
- Kosher salt and freshly cracked black peper
- 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
- 1 lemon, for juice
- 4 slices of rustic sourdough bread
Start by making the aioli. In a mortar and pestle pound the garlic, salt and pepper until it forms a paste. Place the egg yolk in a large bowl. Gradually pour in the oil one drop at a time, whisking constantly. The egg yolk and oil will emulsify to form a creamy yellow mayonnaise. Continue to add the oil in a slow steady stream. If it becomes too thick, add a splash of cold water. Fold in the garlic paste and season with cayenne pepper and lemon juice. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a large glass baking dish, place half of the zucchini and squash in a single layer. Sprinkle shallots and sliced basil over, dividing equally. Scatter tomato halves around squash. Drizzle with wine, broth and 4 tablespoons oil . Season with salt and pepper. Wrap each fish fillet with 1 or 2 pieces of prosciutto. Place the fish fillets atop the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper; drizzle 1/2 tablespoon oil over each. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 10 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 5-10 minutes or until the fish is cooked through.
While fish is cooking, heat remaining olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet. Add the minced garlic, corn and remaining zucchini and squash and saute until golden brown and tender.
When the fish is finished cooking, Place a fillet in the center of each plate. Spoon the broth and vegetables around the fish. Sprinkle with the sauteed squash and corn. Serve with a toasted piece of the sourdough bread with a dollop of the spicy aioli. Garnish with basil leaves.