penne, radish (3x), chili, green garlic, lemon, breadcrumbs

I love radishes. This bowl of pasta boasts 3 forms of radish.

  • two tablespoons of homemade breadcrumbs (a stash that had been set aside separately because it they had come from some darker, pretty sturdy bread) added to a cast iron skillet in which a tablespoon of olive oil had been heated over a medium flame, toasted, stirring frequently, until golden and crisp (only a minute or two), transferred to a small bowl and mixed with a little lemon zest, then set aside while the pasta was prepared: eight ounces of really good Setaro Penne Rigate from Buon Italiacooked al dente inside a large pot of boiling salted water and drained, with one cup of pasta cooking liquid reserved, added to a sauce which had begun with a few ounces of oblong French Breakfast radishes from Alewife Farm, sliced lengthwise into 4 sections, sautéed in a tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat inside a large antique copper high-sided pan until they were tender and beginning to brown in spots (about 2 minutes), the radishes removed to a small bowl and a little more oil added to the pan together with one sliced stem of spring, or green, garlic from Lani’s Farm, the allium stirred until fragrant, which was basically a matter of seconds, followed by the addition of the fresh radish greens, removed from the roots when purchased, washed earlier in several changes of water then roughly chopped, along with almost a cup of the reserved pasta cooking water, the leaves stirred for a few seconds, until only beginning to wilt, the cooked pasta itself now added and mixed in with the greens, stirring, the reserved pasta water poured over it, and the mix stirred until the liquid had emulsified, the reserved radishes themselves now tossed in, followed by a half tablespoon or so of lemon juice and some sea salt, freshly-ground black pepper, and a pinch of dried smoked serrano pepper from Eckerton Hill Farm, the sauced pasta arranged in 2 shallow bowls, sprinkled with the bread crumb mixture prepared earlier, the edges drizzled with a little olive oil, garnished with purple micro radish from Windfall Farms

 

 

April 16

epazote/garlic-stuffed scallops; tomato, red cress ‘salad’

They were small, but they took grill marks like never before.

  • eighteen smallish sea scallops (14 ounces total) from American Seafood Company, rinsed, dried, slit horizontally with a very sharp knife almost all of the way through to accommodate tiny spoonfuls of a mixture of some fresh chopped fresh epazote and a bit of spring garlic, both from Lani’s Farm, a pinch of crushed dried aji dulce pepper from Eckerton Hill Farm, a little local P.E. & D.D. Seafood Company sea salt, and a bit of whole black pepper, all having been first chopped together very finely then removed to a small bowl where just enough olive oil was added to form a paste [the ‘stuffed’ scallops not rolled around on a plate with a little more olive oil as the original recipe had specified and I had done in the past, so that this time there really were serious ‘grill’ marks], drained, pan grilled in an enameled cast iron pan for about 1 1/2 minutes on each side, removed to 2 dinner plates, finished with a squeeze of lemon and a drizzle of olive oil
  • something like a salad of dressed red watercress from Max Creek Hatchery combined, as a last minute thought, chopped with one very ripe mahogany-colored heirloom tomato from Shushan Hydroponic that had been heated in olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper, and sprinkled with a few chopped leaves of an oregano plant, also from Shushan Farm, then sprinkled with some toasted fresh breadcrumbs remaining from an earlier meal
  • the wine was a French (Loire/Anjou and Saumur/Anjou) white, Anjou Blanc ‘Les Grandes Brosses’, Château de la Roulerie 2018, from Astor Wines
  • the music was an album that included Beethoven’s Symphony No. 8, Tchaikovsky’s Francesca da Rimini overture, and Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Piano Concerto, in performances by the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin  

 

 

April 15

eggs and, ..watercress, no toast; the music of André Caplet

Joyeuses Pâques!

It was easter morning, and our first music of the day was French.

I would be serving a roast later, so I skipped the bacon part of our bacon and eggs, substituting some juicy lightly dressed red cress from Dave Harris’s Max Creek Hatchery.

The eggs themselves, from Millport Dairy Farm, enjoyed a scattering of red-vein sorrel from Norwich Meadows Farm, and the ‘un-toast’ was slices of an organic multigrain baguette from Bread Alone.

It looks like I used a bit of Aleppo pepper on the eggs, but also a more conventional ground black pepper, which should probably be regarded as heresy.

 

 

April 12

penne rigate, spring onion, chili, red-vein sorrel, parmesan

I’m not sure I remember all of the details, but this excellent Setaro Penne Rigate from Buon Italia took very well to the minimal addition of a bit of spring garlic from Lani’s Farm, some crushed dried Calabresi peperoncino secchia, also from Buon Italia, a small handful of red-vein sorrel from Norwich Meadows Farm, and some shaved Parmigiano Reggiano Vacche Rosse, again from Buon Italia

 

 

April 11

sea bass, mushrooms, aji dulce, basil sprouts; potato, chive

This entrée was very familiar, but also very special, the latter because of one ingredient, a garnish that didn’t want to be just pretty. It was also Good Friday, which still retains some specialness for this cultural Catholic atheist.

  • two 8-ounce Black Sea Bass fillets from American Seafood Company, washed, dried, seasoned on both sides with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, sautéed for 2 to 3 minutes over a fairly brisk flame with butter and a little olive oil inside a large, vintage thick-copper oval long-handled pan, skin side down, then turned over and the other side cooked for about the same length of time, removed when done and arranged on 2 warm plates (I had them inside the oven, set to its lowest temperature, but if left outside an oven they should at least be covered a little to retain their warmth); then, with 2 tablespoons of butter added to the pan, 7 ounces of beautiful blue oyster mushrooms from Ramble Creek Farm stall in the Union Square Greenmarket, split or cut, sautéed, stirring, until lightly cooked, seasoned with sea salt, freshly-ground black pepper, and a pinch of a dried aji dulce pepper from Eckerton Hill Farm, followed by the addition of a handful of remarkable basil sprouts from Windfall Farms  (noting that they had been washed in the same water as the farmers’ spring garlic back at the farm, and that I could tell) and a tablespoon and a half of lemon juice, the mushrooms stirred a little more, everything in the pan then spooned onto the plates to the side of the fish (the skin of the bass is too beautiful to cover up)
  • boiled French fingering (Rosevale) potatoes from Mountain Sweet Berry Farm, rolled in butter, seasoned with salt and pepper, tossed with scissored chives from Lani’s Farm
  • the Good Friday wine was a French (Loire/Touraine/Cheverny) white, Cheverny Blanc, Domaine de Montcy 2016, from Astor Wines

Sometimes the best dessert is a simple mandarin orange, in this case from a bag delivered by Garden of Eden Market earlier that week.

  • the music was a very special performance [“The purpose of this recording was to recreate the context of a passion performance during Bach’s time at Leipzig.”] of Director John Butt’s Bach John Passion by the Dunedin Consort 

 

 

April 10