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Goodland Kitchen chef/owner Julia Crookston

Mike Clark

Goodland Kitchen chef/owner Julia Crookston


Summer Dinners in the Goodland

Pop-Up Dinner Features Fresh Fish, Salsa Verde


Goodland Kitchen chef/owner Julia Crookston is clearly insatiable. Her vision for the Goleta mecca for the epicurious (and the merely hungry) is itself like a glorious tasting menu: one part community kitchen, one part restaurant, a bit of market here, a space for educational community events there. And then, of course, there is the Sunday Supper series, launched this spring: family-style, pop-up dinners that take place on the second Sunday of the month and, true to the Goodland ethos, feature fresh, local spoils from area farmers/fishermen/purveyors who often join in the fun.

This Sunday’s dinner (delightfully dubbed “Crabby Pants”) screams summertime, and boasts a menu that will make your mouth water. It includes wood-fired vegetable focaccia flatbread ; fresh Channel Islands rock crab claws with lemon aioli, asparagus, potatoes, and green beans; local fish (can’t tell you what kind yet; depends on what featured producer Steve Escobar, owner and captain of the Ocean Pearl, and his crewman Travis Meyer catch) baked in fig leaf with salsa verde and summer vegetable ragout; and oven-roasted peaches with almond ice cream and biscotti.

(And you thought fig leaves were only good for their use as a clothing alternative.)

The feasts go down outside, often feature surprise guest chefs, and, like most pop-ups, are BYOB (though Goodland provides bubbly water and iced tea). Crookston advises bringing a sweater and conversation. (“Aside from ‘mmmm,’ I like to hear people talk about other subjects besides the food,” she said … which is harder for some of us than for others.) If you can’t make it to this week’s dinner (sad for you), get yourself on their mailing list stat — plans for future Sunday suppers include a “killer paella dinner,” a Californio-themed meal to celebrate Fiesta, and a “Maryland fried chicken and five sides” dinner complete with lemon meringue pie. In a word: OMG.

And, because Crookston is generous and cool, she’s shared with us her recipe for the salsa verde — a bright, fragrant, vibrant green sauce that pairs perfectly with fish and chicken and is also delicious over sliced tomatoes with mozzarella — which will make an appearance on Sunday with that mystery fish.

Julia’s Salsa Verde

Ingredients:

1 cup Italian parsley, leaves only

1 bunch tarragon, leaves only

1 bunch basil, leaves only

1 large shallot

1 filet of preserved lemon

3+ Tbsp. of your best olive oil

1-2 salt-packed anchovies, cleaned, filleted

2 Tbsp. capers

2 cloves garlic

2 Tbsp. champagne vinegar

Directions:

Pick all the herbs from their stems.

Finely dice the shallot and garlic. Set aside.

Using a sharp knife, finely chop all the herbs together.

Once herbs are chopped, add anchovies, capers, shallots, and garlic to the herbs.

Rough chop them together so the shallot, garlic, capers, and anchovy are evident.

Place into a small bowl, and then stir in the olive oil and vinegar.

Taste, adjust, and enjoy!

Julia’s Tips:

• The capers and anchovy are important to the overall balance, but you can customize the herbs and other seasonings to suit your taste.

• Make it the day you’ll be using it, as the lovely bright green color won’t last.

• You can buy salt-packed anchovies and preserved lemons at the Goodland Market.

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Sunday’s dinner goes down at 6 p.m. and costs $45 per person. (They will accommodate vegetarians, at the same cost.) Dinners are capped at 34 guests, so get on that RSVP! Call (805) 845-4300. The Goodland Kitchen is located at 231 South Magnolia Avenue, Goleta. Visit goodlandkitchen.com.

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