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Cheap Dinner: Wild Mackerel with Tomato Salad and Orzo with Zucchini and Parsley

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Orzo with zucchini, bits of tomato, and parsley

Cheap Dinner: Wild Mackerel with Tomato Salad and Orzo with Zucchini and Parsley:  With the arrival of August, our household starts the summer tradition of consuming copious amounts of fresh tomatoes (at times for both lunch and dinner) – see my entries on tomato salad, canning tomatoes, and tomato sauce.  Ripe, garden grown, tomatoes represent the ideal food type for me (blending subtle, earthy flavors, with beautiful texture and color; not to mention the nutritional benefits of raw tomato).

Tomatoes from the garden with red onion, basil, and a bit of fresh, hot, pepper

My favorite tomato salad is comprised of red onion, basil, dried oregano, kosher salt, freshly ground pepper, and extra virgin olive oil (see my guide to olive oil).  I like to call our tomato dish the “universal salad” because it pairs well with meat (such as beef, lamb, or pork) or with a simple loaf of bread, cheese, and olives.  Recently, we paired the tomato salad above with roasted mackerel fillets and orzo with garden zucchini, parsley, and Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Wild Mackerel bakled with olive oil, salt, and pepper

Total cost of the meal was under $19.00 ($7.99 for wild mackerel, .60 cents for 1/4 cup of orzo, $1.99 for Balthazar French baguette, and $7.99 for a bottle of sauvignon blanc from Chile; the rest of ingredients came from the garden or are staple products <such as olive oil, salt, etc.>).  Proving, again, high quality food does not have to be expensive or inaccessible (as some food snobs have argued – see my article on why good food is not expensive).

French bread from Balthazar Bakery in Englewood, NJ

Sauvignon Blanc from Chile - great bargain versus Australian equivalent

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  • http://joedegiorgio.wordpress.com/ Joe DeGiorgio

    Hi Vince—
    Thanks for posting this sterling example of a beautiful meal (great photos) that just looks expensive but is really so very cost effective. I can just imagine what the charge would be in a restaurant for something such as this…
    Loving the recipe posts. Thanks again!

  • http://www.scordo.com Vincent Scordo

    Thanks, Joe, and for the kind comments! I think making food look good within reason is important. Showcasing how beautiful a fresh piece of fish can be (with crumbling flakes and silvery skin, for example) a wonderful to eat.
    I’m going to try and post as many recipes as possible going forward!
    Thanks for reading…
    Vince

  • http://www.zubaidatariq.com Zubaidatariq

    Hi…
    nice blog!Loving the recipe posts.great job……..
    thanks for sharing this…
    John Williams
    Zubaida tips and recipes

  • http://chefgulzar.com/ Chef Gulzar

    Hi…
    nice blog!Loving the recipe posts.great job……..
    thanks for sharing this…

  • http://www.scordo.com/2010/09/recipe-baked-mackerel-with-vinegar-garlic-mint-sauce-split-pea-soup-brocolli-rabe.html Scordo.com

    Recipe: Baked Mackerel with Vinegar, Mint, and Garlic Sauce

    (photo: just out of the oven baked mackerel)I’ve written about my love of fish on multiple occasions here on Scordo.com, expounding on sardines, smelts, tuna, branzino, and salmon.  Yet I was sad to discover that while I hold all…

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