Mustard Crusted Branzino
I was a little bit nervous making this dish for my in-laws recently. I had never cooked a whole fish before, and even though the fishmonger cleaned the branzinos for us I still had to chop off the head. Eliza got a kick out of that! If you can’t find branzino you can use trout, and there is no reason why you couldn’t just use a fillet of thin, white fish, such as flounder, for the dish instead of a whole fish. However, the presentation of a whole fish is pretty impressive!

(Also, I used dried thyme instead of fresh and it was fine.)

Parisians shopping for fish

Shopping for fish at one of Paris’s markets

Sauteed Spinach
Popeye would approve!

2 TB. olive oil
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 TB. pine nuts (optional)
2 bags or bunches of spinach, washed and dried well
salt and pepper
lemon wedge

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat, when the oil begins to shimmer add the garlic and pine nuts, saute for 1-2 minutes. Add spinach to the pot and stir; as it wilts it will release water. Let the spinach saute for another 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently, until most of the water evaporates. Add salt and pepper to taste, and squirt lemon juice over the spinach to serve.