We feel particularly virtuous about our dinner choice tonight. Sardines are (without question) very good for us all; they are also among the most sustainable seafood species; they require a minimum of preparation and a fairly modest amount of cooking time; [The recipe, found in Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers’ ‘Italian Easy: Recipes from the London River Cafe‘, is very simple.]; and last, but not the least considerations, they are very beautiful on the table and are absolutely delicious.
Grilled zucchini, especially when prepared as plainly as this, are a perfect accompaniment to such virtue.
- six very fresh whole Maine sardines, cleaned by the staff at The Lobster Place, seasoned, placed inside an oiled ceramic dish exactly the size for accommodating them in one layer, sprinkled with organic lemon zest, a combination of both Gaeta and black oil-cured olives from Buon Italia, pitted, and a handful of Costa Rica grape tomatoes from Manhattan Fruit Exchange (I had forgotten to bring home local tomatoes from the Greenmarket the day before) which were first pricked then baked beforehand for 15 minutes at 400º, the assembled dish drizzled with more olive oil, baked for 10 minutes in a 400º oven, served with a slight drizzle of olive oil and organic lemon segments
- very small zucchini from Berried Treasures Farm, sliced in half lengthwise, tossed with olive oil, minced garlic from John D, Madura Farm, salt, and pepper, then pan grilled and finished with chopped peppermint from Phillips Farm
- the wine was an Italian (Sicily) white, Corvo Insolia 2013 from Philippe Wine in Chelsea, which is located on our corner
- the music was Josep Soler’s Violin Sonata No, 2 and Alban Berg’s Piano Sonata, which is an amazing album