Striped Bass with Sorrel Pesto

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Today, my friend Kathleen brought me a bunch of beautiful sorrel fresh from the garden, and told me she had made a pesto out of hers, so I decided to try my hand at my own version.

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In the past, I’ve used sorrel in soup (see my spring chicken soup with sorrel) and salad (sorrel salad with grapes and ricotta salata), but the idea of pesto intrigued me.

Since sorrel has such a strong lemony quality, I knew it would be great with fish or shellfish, so I went to the fish market and found some beautiful local wild striped bass.

The pesto is very simple and hardly requires a recipe–just sorrel, pine nuts, salt and olive oil.

Simply place about 2 cups tightly packed sorrel leaves in the food processor, followed by a half cup of pine nuts,  a quarter cup of olive oil and  a half teaspoon of salt.

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While processing, the mixture, add up to another quarter cup of olive oil, or enough to make a thick paste.  Taste and add salt, if necessary.

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To cook the fish, I used the method I like to use for making crispy salmon–place well-seasoned filets skin-side up in a sizzling hot ovenproof skillet with 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

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Sear for about 3 minutes on high heat, then, without turning the fish,  place skillet in preheated 450 degree oven for about 10 minutes (depending on the size of the filets–mine were thick and weighed about 2 pounds total).  Remove from oven and pull off skin.  Season well with salt and pepper and serve.  Turn and serve seared-side up.

In addition to some sauteed spinach, I made some cubed, crispy pan-fried potatoes and celery root.

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The sweetness of the celery root and richness of the potato were a great counterpoint to the high tartness of the pesto.

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