Friday, September 3, 2010

Hog Island - Tomales Bay

We've loved Hog Island oysters and their seafood bar at the Ferry Building for a long time now, but when you want to avoid the crowds and enjoy a serene picnic on the water, Tomales Bay is where its at!

Not only can you enjoy a perfectly packed picnic, but you can check out the farm as well -- watching the sorter spin round and round as hundreds of tiny bivalves fall to one side or the other.

Whole wheat pasta salad with grilled sardines

Serves 4-6

½ pound whole wheat pasta
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 large tomato, chopped
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1 tablespoon capers
½ cup chopped olives
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons African basil flowers (or chopped basil)
Salt and pepper, to taste
8 whole sardines, fileted
Olive oil, for rubbing

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta, and cook for 7 minutes, or until al dente.
2. Drain pasta water, and set noodles aside.
3. In a large bowl, combine all other ingredients. Add warm pasta, and toss.
4. Let stand for 1 hour at room temperature. Set the oven to broil, or heat a grill to high heat.
5. De-bone sardines and portion into filets (you can also ask your fishmonger to do this for you). Season each side with salt and pepper. Rub each filet with olive oil.
6. Place the sardines on a metal baking sheet or sizzle plate. Broil or grill for 2-3 minutes, skin side down, or until cooked through.
7. Remove sardines from pan, and serve atop pasta salad.

A special thanks to Diana, the photographer for the day, since I forgot my memory card. And, thanks to Nick, whose name-dropping even saved us a few pennies!

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