Neither of us has ever been to Sicily, but we often visit the ancient island at dinner, both the food and the wine.
I’m not sure whether it’s the very interesting choices of unfamiliar wines or the cosmopolitan Mediterranean food culture that is the operative factor in arranging these meals, but we try to include both together.
For this one I elaborated on a preparation for swordfish which I had used several times before. Even while doing so however I was thinking that maybe I was going too far. I needn’t have worried, as the dish turned out very fine.
As for the cauliflower, I didn’t want to use the oven, so I turned to a recipe I had worked with before. I did make some adjustments, both from necessity and perversity. It too was a great success.
- one 12 or 13-ounce swordfish steak from Blue Moon Fish, in the Union Square Greenmarket, carefully cut into 2 portions, marinated for about half hour in a mixture of olive oil, a very small amount of dried Itria-Sirissi chili, peperoncino di Sardegna intero from Buon Italia, fresh oregano buds and leaves from Stokes Farm, and some finely-chopped red scallion from Paffenroth Gardens, after which it was drained well and covered with a coating of dried homemade bread crumbs, then pan-grilled over medium-high heat for 4 to 5 minutes on each side, removed, seasoned with salt, sprinkled with a little organic lemon juice from Whole Foods, a pinch of wild fennel pollen from Buon Italia, a little more red scallion, very finely sliced, sprinkled with micro beet greens from Two Guys from Woodbridge, and drizzled with olive oil before serving
- flowerets of a ten-ounce white cauliflower from Sycamore Farms, sautéed in a pan in which fresh sliced organic garlic cloves from Whole Foods, some crushed dried Itria-Sirissi chili from Buon Italia, and more than a teaspoon of fennel seeds had been heated, the mix braised for a few minutes, eventually joined by 5 ounces of Maine cherry ‘cocktail’ tomatoes from Whole Foods, halved and seeded, and finished by stirring in sprigs and leaves of fresh spearmint from Lani’s Farm [I forgot to add the tomatoes until almost the very end, but I think I prefer the result over the suggestion in the original recipe, which appears here]
- the wine was an awesome Italian (Sicily) white, Feudo Montoni del Principato di Villanova Catarratto del Masso 2015 [the link is to the 2104 vintage], from a sale of Sicilian wines at Astor Wines
- the music was Jean-Philippe Rameau’s ‘Hippolyte Et Aricie’, performed by William Christie and Les Arts Florissants