A traditional Italian dish, Pasta Primavera, has the word ``spring'' in its title, and is a wonderful idea for other dishes that can be served all year round. It can be made with almost any kind or shape of pasta tossed with a slightly tart dressing and combined with several kinds of fresh spring vegetables of your choosing -- something green, such as broccoli, asparagus, or fresh peas.
The primavera idea can be easily adapted to chicken, meat, or fish and can be a salad or a hot or cold main dish. Lingcod, a mild Pacific fish, or any firm, mild, white fish can make an attractive, easy one-pot meal when it's combined with such fresh vegetables as carrot, zucchini, tomatoes, and herbs.
One of the most highly prized of all Pacific fish, the lingcod is not truly a cod but belongs to the greenling family. It has the same mild flavor as Pacific cod, but a denser, firmer texture.
While cod and scrod are popular in the East, lingcod is somewhat of a counterpart on the West Coast.
The color of its flesh varies from white to greenish-white when uncooked, but it turns pure white when cooked. Lingcod is available year-round, and it is most often sold in fillets.
Rockcod is another favorite Western fish. It's also known as Pacific snapper, a member of the rockfishes of this area. It, too, has a light-colored flesh with a mild flavor. Lingcod fillets are usually denser and thicker than Pacific snapper.
Fish with fine-textured flesh are sometimes difficult to handle because they fall through the wide spacing on most grills.
For easier grilling, cook fish on an oiled wire cake rack on the grill. Before turning, place another oiled rack on top of the fish and, using pot holders, flip both racks with the fish sandwiched in between.
To avoid overcooking, cook lingcod 10 minutes per inch of fish measured at its thickest point. Turn fish halfway through the cooking time. Lingcod Primavera 1 1/2 pounds lingcod fillets 1 tablespoon olive oil 1/2 cup chopped onion 1 cup sliced mushrooms 1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, drained 1 cup fish or chicken stock or clam juice 1 1/2 teaspoons oregano, crushed Pepper to taste 1 cup julienned carrots 1 cup sliced zucchini 1/2 cup feta cheese, drained 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
Rinse fish with cold water; pat dry with paper towels. Cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes; set aside. In medium skillet, heat oil. Add onion and mushrooms and saut'e until tender. Add tomatoes, stock, oregano, and pepper; cook until thickened. Add carrots, zucchini, and fish. Cover and simmer 4 to 5 minutes, or until fish is no longer translucent. Gently stir in feta and parsley just before serving. Serve over fettuccine. Makes 4 servings. Gazpacho-Topped Lingcod 1 1/3 pounds lingcod or Pacific snapper fillets 2 tablespoons peeled and seeded chopped cucumber 1 cup peeled and seeded chopped tomato 2 tablespoons chopped red onion 2 tablespoons chopped green pepper 3/4 teaspoon chopped garlic 1 tablespoon chopped parsley or cilantro 1/8 teaspoon dillweed, crushed 1/2 teaspoon olive oil 2 teaspoons lime juice 3 tablespoons lime juice 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 1/8 teaspoon liquid hot pepper sauce 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Rinse fish with cold water; pat dry with paper towels. Set aside. Combine cucumber, tomato, red onion, green pepper, garlic, parsley, dill weed, olive oil, and 2 teaspoons lime juice. Mix well and chill for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, combine 3 tablespoons lime juice, pepper, hot pepper sauce, and vegetable oil. Marinate fish in mixture for 10 minutes. Drain fish, reserving marinade. Grill fish, basting with marinade. Turn. Baste and continue to cook. Serve with chilled vegetable topping. Serves 4.