The colors don’t stop, and still they only begin to reflect the complexity of the flavors.
Last night I also invited a new vegetable to the table. A spiny cucumber with a tail, and a very tasty cucumber it is. Before I sautéed it I tasted it raw, and it was delicious, but I wanted to treat it as a warm aside to the fish I had bought on Monday. The Jamaican burr cucumber is native to West Africa, but it seems to have arrived in our young republic, by way of Jamaica, in the late eighteenth century, where, according to early-twentieth-century naturalist Julia Ellen Rogers, they now “..wind their branching tendrils over the shrubby growth of neglected fence rows, along the river banks, and hang their spiny fruits where all can see, ..the wild representatives we have of a great botanical family, that has furnished us many useful garden vegetables and fruits“.
- two hake fillets from P.E. & D.D. Seafood, dredged in seasoned flour and dipped in a beaten egg from Millport Dairy, sautéed in butter and a little olive oil with some oregano buds from Stokes Farm for a few minutes, or until cooked through, drizzled with organic lemon juice, tranferred to 2 plates, any juices remaining in the pan distributed over them, along with some tomato-red scallion-tarragon ‘butter’ left from the dinner the night before, followed by a sprinkling of micro bronze fennel from Two Guys from Woodbridge
- Jamaica burr cucumbers [Cucumis anguria] from Norwich Meadows Farm, quartered, sautéed in olive oil until lightly browned, seasoned with sea salt
- a salad of chopped heirloom tomatoes (2 colors) from Keith’s Farm, mixed with sliced red scallions from Hawthorne Valley Farm, seasoned with maldon salt and freshly ground tellicherry pepper, dressed with a Campania olive oil, D.O.P. Penisola Sorrentina ‘Syrenum’, and a white balsamic vinegar, placed in low bowls on top of leaves of radicchio from Tamarack Hollow Farm and sprinkled with torn basil from Sycamore Farms
- the wine was a California (Clarksburg) white, David Akiyoshi Chardonnay Clarksburg 2015, from Naked Wines
- the music was the Bridge Records album, ‘Music of Stefan Wolpe, Vol. 7‘