Earth Day turns forty-five tomorrow. That’s Earth DAY, not the Earth itself. It’s a lot older, billions and billions of years older. Anyway, I have this philosophy about birthdays. Every birthday deserves, at the very least, a nod. The ones that end in zero or five deserve a celebration.
So … how will you celebrate Earth Day?
Of course, you could go to the recycling center and carefully sort all your paper, bottles and cans. But that’s nothing new; you recycle all the time. Maybe you’ll think about bringing muffins or cupcakes to the nice people who help you unload and sort your trash. Unlike most New Englanders, I tend to make monthly rather than weekly trips to the dump. With the back of my ancient SUV piled high, I am always very grateful for the help I get with unloading and sorting.
Your neighbors will applaud you if you pick up trash on the side of the road. This winter’s ginormous snowbanks are rapidly disappearing. Unfortunately, more than a few sports drink bottles, coffee cups and beer cans are emerging.
A delicious way to spend Earth Day is to begin work on your garden. There is still a chance of frost so it’s too soon to plant outside. However, you can prep your soil and start seedlings indoors. Not sure you have time for a big garden? Keep it simple with a few big pots of herbs. Not sure what or how? Ask your favorite foodies for recommendations.
Speaking of foodies, here are a few earth-friendly kitchen tips. First, and I hope you agree, we should name a national holiday after whoever invented leftovers. In the spirit of Earth Day, leftovers are a great way to avoid waste by recycling the weekend’s roast into tonight’s curry.
Next, forget take-out. Or at least resist the shops that package your order in Styrofoam and plastic. Instead, sharpen your knife, break out your wok and cook up delicious dishes from around the world. While you’re at it, think about making enough for leftovers! Tomorrow is another busy day. Hey, come to think about it, the wok became THE kitchen tool about the time of the first Earth Day.
Finally, consider the one pot wonder. Let your mind and taste buds wander to a wonderful risotto, comforting stew or delicious stir-fry. Whether you braise, stir or toss, you and the earth will be happy when you have fewer dishes to wash.
By all means, include your friends and neighbors in your Earth Day celebrations. Organize a group walk to pick up all those bottles and cans. After hibernating for most of winter, it will be a great chance to reconnect. Top it off with dinner and continue the fun. To keep it simple and share the effort, cook up some delicious swordfish and ask your friends to bring an appetizer, some veggies to stir-fry or dessert.
Happy Earth Day and bon appétit!
Grilled Swordfish with Chimichurri
Swordfish is a sustainability success story. Headed for the endangered list in the 1990’s, thanks to conservation efforts, Atlantic swordfish have rebounded. Enjoy!
Chimichurri (recipe follows)
About 3 pounds swordfish
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Make the Chimichurri (recipe follows).
Preheat your grill to hot. Rub a little olive oil on the swordfish and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook the fish for about 5 minutes per side or until cooked through and still moist.
Remove the swordfish from the grill and let it sit for about five minutes. Cut the swordfish into thick slices and serve with generous spoonfuls of Chimichurri.
1/4 cup minced shallot or red onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 tablespoons minced jalapeño
4-6 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Zest and juice of 1 lime or 1/2 lemon
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/4 cup chopped fresh oregano leaves
Put the shallot, garlic, jalapeño, vinegar, lime juice and cumin in a bowl, season with salt and pepper and toss to combine. Whisk in about 1/2 cup olive oil and let sit for 10-15 minutes.
Stir in the cilantro, parsley, oregano and lime zest. If needed, add more olive oil. Let the chimichurri sit for 10-15 minutes at room temperature before serving.
Makes about 2 cups. Can be made in advance, covered and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before serving.
Cover and store any leftover Chimichurri in the refrigerator. Serve this versatile sauce with grilled beef, pork, chicken and fish as well as steamed or grilled veggies.
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Five Years Ago – Fennel & Feta Salad
Six Years Ago – Dandelion Salad with Grilled Steak, Potatoes & Asparagus
Or Click Here! for a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog!
How will you spend Earth Day? Feel free to share. Let’s start a conversation.
Want more? I’ve got links to lots more to read, see & cook. © Susan W. Nye, 2015