The pestos we have in our Tasting Room are simply heavenly! They are perfect to cook with any time of the year but I especially enjoy cooking with them in the summer when having guests over. Our pestos are made by Bella Cucina who has gone from an artisan-food company to a complete lifestyle brand. Bella Cucina has been featured on Oprah’s most favorite things show (twice!), O Magazine, Food and Wine, Martha Stewart Living, Better Homes and Gardens and Cooking Light! We carry a variety of pesto flavors such as Sun-dried Tomato, Olivada Olive, Arugula and Pine Nut, Fresh Basil, Artichoke Lemon, Walnut Sage and Sweet Pepper. On the bottom of each jar you will find a recipes from Bella Cucina, which are helpful and delicious. I would like to share one of my favorite pesto recipes with you here. Enjoy!
Steamed Halibut in Romaine Leaves with Olivada Gremolata
½ cup Bella Cucina Olivada Olive Pesto
¼ tsp. lemon zest
1 Tbsp. capers, drained
1 Tbsp. chopped chives
8 large Romaine lettuce leaves
4 six-ounce Halibut fillets, skin removed
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
½ cup vegetable or chicken broth
In a small bowl, make the gremolata by combining the olive pesto, lemon zest, capers, and chives, and mix until well combined. If using immediately, keep covered at room temperature. May be refrigerated up to 1 week.
In a large pot of boiling salted water, blanch the romaine leaves for 30 seconds. Remove and plunge immediately into a large mixing bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process and to retain the lettuce’s bright green color. Let drain on paper towels until ready to use.
Season the halibut fillets with salt and pepper. Carefully wrap each fillet with two pieces of the lettuce, allowing the edges of the fish to be exposed. Tuck the lettuce ends under the fish to seal.
In a large, shallow skillet, bring broth to a boil. Reduce heat to low and add fillets. Cover pan and steam the fish until opaque, about 5-10 minuets depending on the size and thickness of the fillets. Carefully remove fillets from pan with spatula and place each in the center of a shallow soup bowl or deep plate. Strain heated broth through cheesecloth or sieve and ladle around fillets. Top each with a spoonful of gremolata.
Pair this dish with a light, fruity wine like the Ponte 2011 Vermentino.
–Jennifer Wiese, Wine Club Clerk
–What is your favorite pesto and how do you like to use it?