Last week I was in the car and listening to NPR when a woman from northern Virginia was commenting on all the snow that had fallen in that region. As I headed toward Providence on I-93 South, there was a lot of bare, albeit brown, grass on the shoulder of the road. The woman (whose name I didn’t catch, and I paraphrase here) said something to the effect of “Snow is a gift of time; use it well.” I decided to give my little sister a ring. She lives in Fairfax County, Virginia, and has three children under the age of 6. I thought I might tease her a bit about how she was using this “gift of time” that the snow had brought. She was in good spirits, and the two oldest ones were, for the time, outside rolling in the snow. She felt the blanket of white was no gift, but was doing her best to maintain her sanity. She had a pot of chili simmering, so I knew she’d be okay.
Up here, we hunkered down for another wallop but barely got a dusting, so at the farm last night we opted for seared haddock with greens and beans. I sautéed 2 cloves of very thinly sliced garlic in olive oil (about ½ cup-it’s a lot, but you can use the oil after for other things). I started with cold oil in the pan (it tends to burn if you start with hot oil) and let the garlic cook until just lightly golden brown-about 3 minutes, but keep your eye on it (dark brown or burned means bitter). Drain the garlic onto paper towels. Pour all but 1 tablespoon of the oil into a bowl and set aside.
There were three of us, so 1 pound of haddock was fine; use more or less depending on your appetite. Cut the fish into portions, season with salt and pepper, and brown on both sides: Just put it in the pan and don’t move it for 2 minutes; then turn it and cook until it’s cooked through (depends on the fish and the thickness, but 3 minutes oughta do it).
Rinse well and drain 1 can of white beans (I used garbanzo, but cannellini or gigante are great for this, too). In a medium bowl, combine four cups of spring mix or baby romaine with beans, toasted garlic, the juice of half a lemon, and about 1 tablespoon of the cooled garlic oil. Season with salt and pepper. Divide onto four plates and place the fish on top.
This whole dealie-o should take you no more than 20 minutes, and it’s a heck of a tasty and healthy meal. Oh, and you can use that extra oil with the garlic flavoring the next time you sauté just about anything, or in salad dressing. Keep it refrigerated, though.