A NANTUCKET FEAST

Written By: Kathleen Minihan

We like to think that everything about Nantucket is special… but when you are able to create an entire meal from ingredients grown in the sandy soil of this 14-mile-long island, something magical happens on your plate. Beyond that wholesome feeling of eating a dish made with vegetables, fruit and fish found no more than 5 miles from your dining room table, there is that added benefit of knowing that by choosing locally sourced produce you are protecting the land and community it was grown in.

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At MiniNutrition, we believe that local food is a huge part of a healthy life. In addition to the health benefits for your body, locally sourced foods aid in our environmental health, which affects us all. From our water and air quality to the health of our harbors and the sea life within it, choosing local is paramount. We understand that this tiny little island can’t produce all that we need, but we feel it is important to make an effort to source locally as much as we are able to support our farmers and fisherman, neighbors, friends and the health of our community. With that being said, we created a specially curated meal that celebrates all the wonderful treasures this island has to offer. The following menu was created after a trip to some of Nantucket’s local farms and fish markets: Bartlett’s Farm and 167 Seafood.

IMG_7592Selecting our fish at 167 was a breeze. There were only two Nantucket-caught choices that day, the flounder and the cod. Knowing that the population of cod fish around the Northern Atlantic is at risk for overfishing, we opted for the flounder. For more information on sustainable seafood choices visit The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch site. Choosing our produce was a bit more challenging… but in the best way possible. In the height of the growing season, Bartlett’s Farm had an abundance of field grown produce to choose from, and we wanted to pick it all!

Cooking a locally sourced meal is always an adventure because you never know what will be available to you from one day to the next. The best and only way to plan a locally sourced meal is to jump right in. As you begin this culinary journey, cast aside perfection and begin to explore new foods and flavors. If you can’t find a few of the ingredients on the shopping list (which will very likely be the case!) that’s ok! Before you panic, talk to your local farmer or fishmonger and ask for the best alternative. After all, they are the experts and love to answer questions about the fruits of their labor.

A great meal in our book is not only something that is delicious and nutritious but also quick and easy to make. Above all else, a great meal will not leave a big mess to clean up at the end of the evening. So before you start cooking, whip up a delicious Lemon Verbena Fizz (recipe listed below) and enjoy!

 

SHOPPING LIST

Produce:
• 2 Hot house or field grown tomatoes
• 4 Fresh corn
• 2 8-ball zucchini
• 1 head red leaf Boston lettuce
• Cucumber
• Lemon thyme
• Lemon verbena
• Garlic (Boatyard Farm)
• Sea salt (Ambrosia Chocolate & Spice)
• Basil

Protein:
• Flounder – 1/2 pound per person

Alcohol:
• Nantucket Vineyard Chardonnay
• 888 Distillery Gale Force Gin

Non-local ingredients:
• Salted butter
• Olive Oil
• White Balsamic Vinegar
• Sugar

 

LEMON VERBENA FLOUNDER WITH CHARDONNAY SAUCE
Servings: 4
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:
2 pounds flounder, or alternative filet
2 sprigs lemon verbena
10 sprigs lemon thyme
½ cup Chardonnay
3 tbsp salted butter
2 cloves garlic

IMG_7604Directions: Lemon Verbena Flounder
1. Strip the lemon verbena leaves from the stem and lay a single layer of the leaves on a sheet of tin foil
2. Place filet of flounder on the bed of verbena and cover the fish with another layer of lemon verbena leaves and lemon thyme sprigs
3. Place in refrigerator for 15-20 minutes
4. While fish is resting, preheat the grill and whip up the Chardonnay sauce
5. On medium high heat, place the flounder on the grill atop the tinfoil and grill for 8-10 minutes
6. Remove from heat and serve with a teaspoon of Chardonnay sauce

Directions: Chardonnay Sauce
1. Dice 2 cloves of garlic and combine with ½ cup Chardonnay in a small sauce pan
2. Place sauce pan over high heat and bring to a boil
3. Continue to boil until liquid is reduced to approximately ¼ cup
4. Remove from heat and whisk in 3 tbsp butter
5. Stir until melted

 

NANTUCKET-GROWN SEASONAL VEGETABLES
Servings: 4
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:
4 ears of corn
Fresh basil
2 Tomatoes
2 8-ball zucchini
1 head red leaf Boston lettuce
1 tbsp lemon thyme leaves
Sea salt

IMG_7631Directions: Grilled Corn with Chardonnay Sauce
1. Place corn in husks on grill over medium-high heat
2. Grill for 15 minutes turning twice
3. Remove from heat and let cool 5 minutes before removing the husks
4. Drizzle with Chardonnay Sauce

Directions: Deconstructed Nantucket Red Salad
1. Wash and dry lettuce leafs and place in a large bowl
2. Slice tomatoes and cucumbers and layer with fresh basil leaves
3. Serve with white balsamic vinegar and olive oil allowing your guests to construct their own salad

Directions: Grilled 8-Ball Squash
1. Slice squash into ½ inch slices
2. Place squash slices into a bowl with olive oil, sea salt, and lemon thyme leaves
3. Let sit for 5 minutes
4. Place the squash on the gill over low heat or on upper grill rack for 15 minutes, flipping once
5. Remove from heat and serve

 

LEMON VERBENA FIZZ COCKTAIL
Servings: 2
Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 15 minutes

Directions: Lemon Verbena simple syrup
1. Add ½ cup water and ½ cup sugar to sauce pan and simmer on low heat
2. Strip ½ cup lemon verbena leaves from stem and bruise the leaves by forming a loosely packed ball in the palm of your hand.
3. Add leaves to sauce pan and remove from heat, steeping for 10 minutes
4. Strain liquid into a glass container and chill in the refrigerator about 30 minutes

Directions: Lemon Verbena Fizz Cocktail
1. Juice of 1 lime, 4 oz gin and 1 tsp lemon verbena simple syrup shaken with ice
2. Strain into a highball glass over ice and fill with club soda

 

A Nantucket Feast

Bartlett’s Farm and 167 Seafood were chosen for both their quality and convenience, but there are many wonderful farms that speckle the island. To find the delicious treasures that the smaller farmers have to offer, consider stopping by one of the Sustainable Nantucket Farmers and Artisans Markets. The Saturday Market runs 9:00am – 1:00pm on Cambridge Street and the Wednesday Market is located out of town at 113 Pleasant Street from 3:30pm – 6:30pm.

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Kathleen Minihan, founder of MiniNutrition, is a Registered Nutritionist with a Masters in Nutrition and Health Promotion. Kathleen aims to share the importance of healthy living and illustrate that health and nutritional change can be enjoyable and achievable. MiniNutrition offers a lifestyle approach to health, incorporating sound science and small sustainable changes that create positive and lifelong health habits. To learn more or work with Kathleen, you can visit her website here.