This meal demonstrated the amazing impact fresh herbs can make on three very different food groups, as well as the blessings of a good larder regularly restocked. Working out the larder part is pretty easy when the kitchen is used regularly.
The herb part is just as easy, but, again, that assumes frequent meals at home. The Pacific salmon had been frozen before it arrived at Whole Foods, the Italian-grown beans arrived in my kitchen already cooked and sealed in a jar (and in fact they had been opened and half used two weeks earlier), and the sweet potatoes had been dug out of the ground in Kinderhook some time last year. None of the three had been harvested the day before, and none would have come fully into its own without the help of a fresh herb.
- wild Coho salmon fillet from Whole Foods, roasted in butter in a shallow enameled cast-iron pan (for one pound of salmon, use two tablespoons of butter), seasoned, then finished with a little shredded sorrel (yes, after three meals from the same bunch, and I still have some left!) from Rogowski Farm
- tiny cooked Italian beans (‘Fagiolina del Trasimeno’) from Eataly, warmed with olive oil in which thinly-sliced garlic from Migliorelli Farm had been heated until it began to brown, along with whole sage leaves from Eataly
- Japanese sweet potatoes from Samascott Orchards tossed with olive oil, rosemary leaves, salt, and pepper, placed in an unglazed ceramic pan with some whole, unpeeled garlic, also from Samascott Orchards, and roasted at 400º for about half an hour
- the wine was an Austrian red, Fritsch Zweigelt vom Donaulöss 2011