Hello and welcome to a very special edition of TeamEATS! It’s not a special edition because we’re coming off a 4-0 First European Victory In Three Years, nor because of that embarrassing 1-3 Derby d’Italia catastrophe from last Saturday. No, this TeamEATS is special because Juventus travel down to Pescara, which happens to be my family’s hometown! Sort of… Ok, Pescara is not technically my family’s hometown; both my parents were actually born in Orsogna, a beautiful small town with a population of 4,000+ nestled in the valleys between Central Apennines and the Adriatic Sea, nearby Pescara.
But it’s close enough to count, and the promotion of Delfino Pescara 1936 (YES, that’s their real name) to Serie A was a very happy moment for my relatives and I, though we’re mostly all Juventus fans. I’m happy Pescara earned promotion last season, even despite being lead by that damn Zeman, but come Saturday they’re just another opponent to be defeated.
The region of Abruzzo is one of the least-densely populated regions in all of Italy, with more than 1/3 of it’s land designated as parkland preserve. The geographical layout creates sharp contrasts in climate and environment that are breathtaking, especially in the valley landscapes that connect the majestic mountain ranges to the flat Mediterranean coastline. While a hidden gem virtually unknown to foreigners, Abruzzo is one of the most popular destinations for Italian tourists; it’s national parks, beautiful beaches, and rustic charm make it an ideal local destination. Abruzzo holds many of Italy’s best-preserved medieval and Renaissance hill towns, many lacking any modern rural development.
The major city of Abruzzo, Pescara has a population of 400,000. It’s one of the strongest economic, commercial, and tourist centers on the Adriatic coast. The city is most famous for it’s 12-mile shoreline that becomes a booming seaside resort during the summer, but the nightlife and shopping also help make it a popular destination.
Pescara is also famous for being the summer hangouts of Fabio Grosso and Massimo Oddo, both were raised in Abruzzo. And while we’re name-dropping, I might as well mention how Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo is a fellow Abruzzese (that’s what we call ourselves), despite being born in Switzerland. But enough about the people, let’s talk about the food.
And the food in Abruzzo is spectacular. Famous within Italy for hearty dishes and delicious desserts, both the agricultural and coastal aspects of Abruzzo contribute to its cuisine. But for today’s Team Eats we focus on Pescara’s port-based culinary prowess and cook fish, headlined by a tasty ginger marinade. Ginger has been a popular spice in Aburuzzo since the Middle Ages, which is no surprise for the place in Italy that uses more spices than any other region.
Let’s do this!
Pesce Arrosto allo Zenzero – Roasted Fish with Ginger
Difficulty: Very Easy
Time: 75 minutes (only because of two 30 minute waits!)
For a side I made some good ol’ American Rice-A-Roni for the first time ever! I must admit, the San Francisco Treat is pretty good.
I really wanted to make salmon with this recipe, but sadly the salmon at my local shop didn’t look that good today. I went with thick slices of tilapia which worked out well enough.
Also, technically this recipe calls for fish roasted over charcoal but here we’re baking it. It still works. Trust me.
1. Wash the Fish. Rinse both sides and then sprinkle a dash of kosher salt on each fish before letting sit under running cold water for a few minutes.
2. Chop the scallions and garlic. Using a peeler, peel the skin off the ginger root, and then peel a few slivers of ginger. Chop up the ginger.
3. Prepare the marinade by adding the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, scallions, garlic, and ginger to a small bowl and mix together.
4. Lightly oil a foil-covered baking dish. Layout the fish in one layer without any overlaps (skin-side down if applicable). Spoon the marinade from step 3 onto the fish and let marinade, covered in a refrigerator, for 30 minutes.
5. While you wait on the marinate, prepare a side dish to go with the fish. I went with a quick box of rice, but any vegetable side would pair perfectly with the meal. Especially string beans, drenched in balsamic vinegar. Yum.
6. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
7. After the 30 minute marinade, pour the white wine around the fish. Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes, until the fish starts flake when touched with a fork.
8. Consume. Image each delicious bite of magically marinated fish another majestic step by Juventus ahead of those would-be rivals, who think they are our equals. They are not our equals. They are not even close.
The ginger-vinegar-scallion marinade is absolutely terrific, adding an elegant dimension to wonderfully textured fish. The mustard and white wine also played their part, but more subtly on the back-end of the taste. It is absolutely crazy how good this recipe was, especially when you consider the complete lack of difficulty.
The hardest part was just waiting around, and boy was it worth it.
Be sure to do your part this week in your kitchen; make this dish for a Juve victory and share your pictures in the comments section below.
Mangiare è l’unica cosa che… Conte!
Back by popular demand, TeamEATS is a culinary guide to cooking and consuming the opposition. Each week, we pick a recipe from the home cuisine of Juve’s upcoming adversary, put on the kitchen apron and… cook it and eat it. Buon Appetito!