I wanted to go to Frankie & Benny’s this weekend.
It was the first restaurant that featured in my food obsessed musings. I researched that menu and wanted to go back every weekend until I had tried everything.
My need to try everything is fighting fit, and actually I’d say it’s stronger than ever, but as the love wanted to stay in tonight, I decided to make one of their dishes myself. I felt that it was okay if I tried it at home. It didn’t absolutely have to be in the setting I had imagined. Working on flexibility… I can try everything in different contexts now!
And it was so tasty, I almost didn’t mind the fact that I wasn’t sitting amongst all that joyous chattering, bustling and celebration.
I know it’s not a sophisticated place to eat out, but I think that’s one of the reasons I love it so much. You can be silly and loud, and the atmosphere is contagious. You just go there to relax and have fun.
Here I give the recipe for enough pesto for 4. Feel free to halve/double it; I just fancied having some left over for the next day, to have with pasta 🙂 see: https://welcomebackbelly.wordpress.com/2012/11/19/wild-rocket-pasta/
- 2 salmon fillets
- 2 baking potatoes
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- few sprigs of fresh rosemary
- broccoli, to serve
For the pesto:
- large handful of chopped parsley (approx 15g/1 cup)
- 55g walnuts, toasted and chopped
- 25g parmesan, grated
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
- 120 ml extra-virgin olive oil
- pinch of salt
- handful of fresh breadcrumbs (approx 1 slice bread, crusts removed)
- First, get the potatoes ready. Preheat the oven to 180ºc. Boil the kettle and add some salt to a saucepan. Peel and chop the potatoes. I like quite a small roastie – they make for more tasty crunch, but suit yourself of course. When the water has boiled, add it to the saucepan with the potatoes and boil for 7 minutes. Drain thoroughly, then return the potatoes to the pan and sprinkle with the flour. Put a lid on the saucepan and give it a few hard shakes. (This will encourage crispiness!)
- Cover the base of a baking tray with raised sides with sunflower oil or the fat of your choice. Place in the oven and leave for 5 minutes, then carefully remove and add the potatoes and rosemary. Return to the oven and roast for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the pesto. Set up a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add the first 4 ingredients (making sure the walnuts are toasted) and blend until well combined. If you like, leave about 15g of the walnuts out for now, and use them to sprinkle over the broccoli at the end of cooking. Mix the oil, lemon zest and juice in a bowl and, while the food processor is still blending, add the mixture steadily. Then add the salt and breadcrumbs. Taste to check for seasoning and balance. Any excess can be frozen for up to 3 months or kept in the fridge (covered) and used within a day or 2.
- Turn the oven up to 220ºc and, turn the potatoes and roast for 20-30 minutes more.
- Place the salmon fillets on a wire rack and spread with the pesto mixture. When the potatoes have about 15 minutes left, add the salmon and cook until the crust is turning golden and the salmon is just cooked. Boil the kettle again for the broccoli, and cook in salted water until just tender.
- Serve the whole affair with a bit of the crisped up rosemary and lemon wedges to squeeze over.
Obviously, just buy a jar of pesto if you want to make your life easier 🙂
And again, obviously, if you don’t dote on rosemary like I do, leave it out. Your meal will not suffer.