Olive, my first granddog.
This is a love story, a new love story, a story of family and dogs and food.
First, there was Olive. Three months ago my son, Tim, and his partner, Jake, rescued a year-old female American Pit Bull. It's sad, but I have found that even mentioning this much-maligned breed strikes (mostly unreasonable) fear into the hearts of almost everyone I tell.
Olive is such a sweet girl, but full of anxiety and foibles. In spite of her challenges, she won the lottery when her boys took her in. They are peas in a pod. The one place Olive feels truly safe is at home, just the three of them.
Haddock, the miracle pup.
Next came Haddock, the adorable Brussels Griffon, who as an eight-week-old pup, came to live with my daughter, Tyler, and her newly-minted husband, Brendan. Haddock (aka Haddy, Haddockwich, or Had) started life sick, got very much sicker, danced with Death for a couple of weeks, and, quite miraculously according to several vets, managed to survive and begin to thrive.
These two pups have brought much love and drama into my lovely, dramatic family. They both fit in perfectly. Odd, endearing, and facing challenges most other dogs seem to have escaped, they are already loved beyond words, quickly finding a permanent place in our hearts.
To celebrate Puppy Love, I could not resist creating a recipe that honors the two newest members of our quirky crew. I served this dish with Panzanella, an Italian bread salad, from a go-to Barefoot Contessa recipe. Ina Garten never disappoints me when I need culinary guidance.
Reader, I give you:
Haddock & Olive(s)
Ingredients for Haddock & Olive(s). Please ignore the lemon and fennel and visualize a yellow onion in place of the red.
2-ish pounds of fresh Haddock
2 tbls extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small yellow onion, diced
1/4 cup white wine
1 can diced tomatoes, 14.5 oz.
1/2 cup chopped, pitted green Olives
1/4 cup capers (with juice)
2 tbls dried oregano
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
sea salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 400º. On medium heat, saute the onions and garlic in olive oil until softened, but not browned. Add white wine and bring to a boil. Add tomatoes, olives, capers, oregano, salt and pepper and simmer on low heat for 20 - 30 minutes.
Transfer tomato sauce to glass baking pan and place Haddock fillets on sauce. Place in oven and cook until fish is just cooked through and flakes with a fork, between 10 and 20 minutes, depending on thickness of fish.
Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve.
Bone appetit, Haddock & Olive!