Saturday was unbelievably gorgeous here in Houston. Sure, the summers make you want to die, but Houston springtime can knock your socks off. All afternoon, the sun radiated happiness, a refreshing breeze caressed the wind chimes, and flowers everywhere danced for joy. It was sublime–a perfect opportunity for dining al fresco, as you can see above. My parents’ backyard felt like a mini paradise with palms swaying and elephant ears rustling.
That lovely centerpiece was one of my gifts to my mother. I felt a little sheepish giving her such a small bouquet, but flowers are so expensive! I think the ribbon helped. Regardless, she seemed very pleased. Mom adores bright colors, and, according to her, “daisies are happy flowers.” Wait. These are daisies, right?
Hmmm. Maybe not.
Anyway, we feasted on Sicilian Sea Bass, grilled rosemary sweet potatoes, and grilled asparagus. It was a piece of heaven.
Here’s my clever dad slicing up the fish with his favorite Cutco knife, the cleaver. <shudder>
He’s done some terrible things with these knives before. Things ending in emergency hospital visits. Poor Daddy. At least he’s tough.
And here’s the lovely sea bass, covered in its Sicilian rub of garlic, basil, fennel seeds, black pepper, red pepper, and sea salt.
This is how it looks after grilling:
Now I’m salivating. Oh, for just one more bite of that succulent fish, so crisp, so tender!
Of course, I can’t forget the tomato and kalamata olive salsa that went with it. It might have been my favorite part of the meal, although this picture doesn’t nearly do it justice:
Made of luscious tomatoes, kalamata olives, slivered fresh basil, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, and cayenne, it pulled me back in for seconds and–had there been enough–thirds. I’m making this salsa as soon as I get a chance. I think it will be great on chicken too.
Here’s a shot of the sweet potatoes on the grill.
If you’ve never tried them prepared like this before, you owe it to yourself. With a light sprinkling of rosemary, garlic, and salt (and a little olive oil), they really shine.
Asparagus also made it onto the grill, but I don’t have any photographs of it.
Altogether, it was a lovely meal with excellent company to match. I don’t think it could have been a nicer afternoon. I think my mom agrees.
(Note: to make the Sicilian Sea Bass yourself, or some variation thereof, go here for my earlier blog post containing the recipe.)