bluefish ‘baked Greek style’; potatoes sage; collards, garlic

For a ‘recipe’ which was originally little more than a sentence I found in a conversation on line about bluefish cookery, this one has really taken off in our kitchen. The header on one of my posts readS, ‘bluefish as I’ve always wanted it to be; turns out it’s Greek’, although I’ve not actually included one of the most particular Greek ingredients, crumbled feta cheese, or at least not yet.

  • one 15-ounce bluefish fillet from American Seafood Company, at Chelsea’s Saturday’s Down to Earth Farmers Market on 23rd Street, rinsed, cut into 2 sections, rubbed with olive oil and a little Columela Rioja 30 Year Reserva sherry vinegar, placed inside an oval tin-lined copper au gratin pan, sprinkled liberally with a very pungent dried Sicilian oregano from Buon Italia and a bit of dried peperoncino Calabresi secchi, also from Buon Italia, covered with one small-to-medium-size thinly-sliced red onion from Norwich Meadows Farm, a couple handfuls of small, halved, very sweet (candy-like), ripe grape tomatoes from Kernan Farms [and some chopped fresh oregano, if available, although this time it wasn’t], 9 pitted and halved dark olives [I used Gaeta], and several thin slices of lemon [it’s probably best not to be too extravagant in these amounts, as I was this time]baked at 425º for 15 minutes or so, garnished with micro red mustard from Two Guys from Woodbridge

  • ten ounces or so of pink pearl potatoes from Berried Treasures Farm, boiled with a generous amount of salt until barely cooked through, drained, halved, dried while still inside the large still-warm vintage Corning  Pyrex Flameware blue-glass pot in which they had cooked, tossed with a tablespoon or so of olive oil, sprinkled with sea salt, freshly-ground black pepper, and some absolutely wonderful chopped Salvia Mandarino (Eng. ‘mandarin sage’, or ‘pineapple sage’) from Stokes Farm

  • one good-sized bunch of collard greens from Lani’s Farm, washed 3 times, drained, some of the water retained and held aside to be added, if necessary, as the greens cooked, the leaves and tender stems cut roughly, braised together gently until softened/wilted inside a large, heavy vintage, high-sided copper pot in which one sliced stem of spring garlic from John D. Madura Farm had been heated until it also had softened, finished with sea salt, freshly-ground black pepper, and a small drizzle of olive oil
  • the wine was a Portuguese (Douro) white, Quinta Do Crasto Branco 2014, from Garnet Wines
  • the music was the album, ‘Dame Ethyl Smythe: Chamber Works’

local focaccia, wild dandelions, fiddleheads, spring garlic

Lunch.

Maybe it’s become a little more regular than I had expected, or let on in this post: focaccia for lunch. On Saturday I brought back a piece from the Union Square Greenmarket large enough for both of us to enjoy, and I happened to have already had on hand 2 different wild greens, one of which had remained from an earlier meal.

  • The rosemary focaccia was from Bread Alone
  • the fiddleheads were from Willow Wisp Farm, the wild dandelion greens with their 2 buds were from Berried Treasures, and the sliced portion of a stem of spring garlic tossed in was from John D. Madura Farm; together they were dressed with some Frankies Sicilian olive oil, with a little left over for dipping the bread into it
  • the music was New Sounds, a 24-hour program produced by WQXR, streaming

fennel-grilled tuna, amaranth; burdock; chard, coriander

I’d never cooked with burdock before, and I’m not certain I did the right thing with it last night, but it was interesting. The ‘chips’ proved to be a little more difficult to get right than all the other roots I’ve prepared this way. I’m just going to have to do more research before I try out this operation again.

The image of freshly-cut burdock root seen below seems to suggest that Willow Wisp Farm, while it’s located (just inside) northeastern Pennsylvania, may be a part of the ‘Black Dirt Region’ conventionally associated with New York’s Rockland County and New Jersey’s Sussex County. I’m going to try to remember to ask Greg Swartz, the farmer, next time I stop by his stand in the Greenmarket.

  • one 14-ounce tuna steak from Pure Vida Seafood, rinsed, dried, cut into 2 pieces, the ‘tails’ the cut created pinned back onto the rest of the steak sections with toothpicks, seasoned on both sides with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, then rubbed, tops and bottoms, with a mixture of a tablespoon of a wonderful dry Sicilian fennel seed from Buon Italia that had been crushed in a mortar and pestle along with a little dried peperoncino Calabresi secchi from Buon Italia, pan-grilled above a medium-high flame (for only a little more than a minute or so on each side), finished on the plates with a good squeeze of the juice of an organic lemon from Whole Foods Market, finished with a bit of olive oil drizzled on top, some micro red amaranth from Windfall Farms arranged at one end
  • two burdock roots from Willow Wisp Farm (20 ounces before trimming), scrubbed clean and surfaces scraped with a knife, their roots cut into thin rounds tossing them, as they accumulate, into a bowl of cold water in which some lemon juice had been squeezed (in order to keep the now-exposed surfaces of the roots from discoloring), drained when all had been cut, dried on a kitchen towel before being placed inside a dry bowl and tossed with a couple tablespoons of olive oil, sea salt, freshly-ground black pepper, and 2 small pieces of dried orange/golden habanada pepper, crushed finely, the chips arranged, separated from each other, inside 2 seasoned ceramic Pampered Chef pans and roasted at 450º for about half an hour, depending on their thickness, until they were at least a bit crunchy
  • one tablespoon or more of olive oil was heated over medium heat inside a high-sided heavy antique copper pan, then one sliced stem of spring garlic from John D. Madura Farm added, along with 2 small dried peperoncino Calabresi secchi, and a quarter to a half teaspoon of whole coriander seeds, the small mix cooked for about 30 seconds to a minute, or until the garlic was both slightly softened and becoming fragrant, the heat turned down to low and 10 ounces of loose baby rainbow chard from Alewife Farm gradually added and stirred until wilted, seasoned with sea salt and freshly-chopped pepper, and arranged on the plates to be finished with a little olive oil
  • the wine was a California (Lodi) rosé, Karen Birmingham Sangiovese Rosé Lodi 2017, from Naked Wines
  • the music was the album, ‘Melomania – String Quartets By Women Composers’

locally-foraged ‘pheasant backs’ and ‘wine caps’

At the time I had decided, for a couple of reasons, not to do a post about the dinner in they had appeared last week, but these locally-foraged wild mushrooms are so gorgeous that I’ve decided I had to at least publish an image of them, as they looked in the Greenmarket before I brought half a pound of them home with me.

They’re called ‘pheasant back’ [Lat. cerioporus squamosus], but they’re also known as ‘dryad’s saddle or ‘hawk’s wing’, and all of these names seem appropriate.  Until I saw them on a table at the Windfall Farms stand in the Union Square Greenmarket on Wednesday I had never heard of them. While there I also snapped this picture of another wild mushroom, one which I didn’t buy that day, but which I’d cooked before, the ‘wine cap’ [Lat. stropharia rugosoannulata], a name that seems equally as right as that of its neighbor on the table.

wild greenmarket lunch at home: ramp focaccia, dandelion

This isn’t my regular lunch, but I would like to make it pretty regular, especially because both the ‘bread’ and the green were celebrating spring foraging by including 2 different wild green things.