Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Local Amberjack with Pea Tendrils & Roasted Butternut Squash Mash!

Divas, hope you're all feeling fabulous today!

This morning, I'm bringing you a recipe for a great dinner I made on Monday night.  The inspiration were ingredients I bought at the Farmers Market on Sunday, including a lovely fillet of local amberjack, a few big handfuls of organic pea tendrils, a rare and delicate ingredient, and the butternut squash that's so plentiful right now.  Because my ingredients were so fresh, I handled them minimally, wanting to make a clean-tasting, flavorful dinner.  I simply broiled the yellowtail and finished it with a little lemon juice, sauteed the pea tendrils with garlic, and roasted and mashed the butternut squash.

Wow, it was so delicious, it had Kuzak all but licking his plate, wishing there was more butternut squash mash!  The pea tendrils also tasted tender and sweet, with a hint of the peas they produce, and the amberjack pulled the whole dish together with its bright, clean flavor and texture!

While I'm writing up the entire dish I prepared with all the components, the Roasted Butternut Squash Mash is a versatile dish that could be prepared to go with almost any type of fish or meat.  It's a fantastic holiday side dish, or puree it with a garlic clove and some vegetable stock for a tremendous soup!

Note: If you can't find fresh amberjack, almost any fish would work, including halibut, salmon or red snapper!  Also, spinach would be a delicious substitution for the often elusive pea tendrils.

Local Amberjack with Pea Tendrils & Roasted Butternut Squash Mash
Serves 2 people

2 amberjack fillets
1 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp olive oil
3 cups pea tendrils, chopped with twisty parts removed
1 garlic clove, chopped
salt & pepper

butternut squash mash:
1 large or 2 smaller butternut squashes,  halved and seeded
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp chili flakes
1 tsp thyme
1 tbsp butter
salt & pepper


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

To roast the butternut squash, rub the inside with the cardamom, thyme, chili flakes, olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Place the squash face down in an oven proof dish and poke holes in the tops.  Fill the pan with 1/2 inch of water.  Place in the oven and roast for 50 minutes, or until the squash is tender.

Once it's cooked, remove from the squash from the oven and allow to cool.  Then, scoop out the flesh into a bowl, add the butter and mash it with a fork.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Meanwhile, rub the fillets with 1 tbsp of the olive oil and sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper.  Then either broil or grill the fish until just barely cooked through (about 5 minutes depending on thickness).  Remove from oven, sprinkle with the lemon juice and allow to rest for a few minutes.

Finally, make the pea tendrils, heat a pan over medium high heat.  Add the remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil and allow to warm.  Then, add the garlic and saute for 1 minute.  Add the pea tendrils and cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted (only a few minutes).  Remove from heat and season to taste with salt and pepper.

To plate, place a good heaping of the butternut squash mash on a plate and top with the pea tendrils.  Place a piece of fish on top and enjoy!

Source for Ingredients:

local amberjack from J&P West Coast Seafood (Hollywood Farmers Market)

organic pea tendrils, organic butternut squash, organic garlic, organic lemon and organic thyme from the Hollywood Farmers Market

ground cardamom and organic butter from Whole Foods

chili flakes and organic olive oil from Trader Joe's


  1. I'm going to prepare this dish for my mom!

  2. It's delicious - any type of fish would work - and the butternut squash mash is so yummers! If you can't find pea tendrils, spinach would work!