I was about to pick out a couple of gorgeous pink mako shark steaks at the Pura Vida Fisheries greenmarket stand when I noticed some beautiful triggerfish fillets in a bucket nearby. Paul and his wife also seemed more excited by the latter, visitors found in local waters far more rarely than the shark. That fact, together with my memory of our having really enjoyed triggerfish on the one occasion I had prepared it, won the day – and last night’s meal. Triggerfish it would be.
By the way, triggerfish is subtly sweet (they dine on crustaceans) and the texture of the fillets alone would put it in a class by itself: unlike that of any other fish I can think of right now, the flesh is both quite firm and beautifully flaky when cooked properly. The picture above suggests as much, but out of sight is the ease with which I was able to run the fillets over, and then remove them to the plates.
The sweet potato greens however were entirely new to me. I had tasted them raw at some time in the week before, and I thought they were pretty wonderful, but that moment I had already bagged all the vegetables I needed.
On Friday, as soon as I spotted these beauties I knew what I would serve with the triggerfish. They’re probably delicious in almost any state of cooking, from raw to par-boiled and sautéed, and I’m going to try to find out for sure whether that’s the case, with what I expect will be repeat purchases. My only concern would be dealing with the stems, since they don’t soften as quickly as the leaves. On the other hand, a certain amount of chewiness isn’t really a problem for me.
- four 3-ounce triggerfish fillets from Pura Vida Fisheries, rinsed, dried, seasoned with salt and freshly-ground black pepper, sautéed inside a large, heavy oval, tin-lined cooper pan in olive oil over medium-high heat for only about 90 seconds on each side, removed to 2 plates, drizzled with a little fresh organic lemon juice, immediately sprinkled with chopped fresh dill from Keith’s Farm, with more dill tossed into the pan along with a few drops of olive oil, pushed around with a narrow wooden spatula, those juices then drizzled over the fish
- a third of a pound of sweet potato greens from Alewife Farm, washed, drained, sautéed, then briefly covered until wilted inside an oval enameled, cast iron pot in olive oil in which one chopped garlic and a small amount of slivered cherry bomb/red bomb pepper from Norwich Meadows Farm had first been softened, seasoned with salt and pepper, sprinkled with a little organic lemon juice, and drizzled with olive oil
- 2 tiny new potatoes (probably red Norland) from Central Valley Farm, boiled, drained, dried in the pan, rolled in olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper, and scattered with chopped lovage from Keith’s Farm
- one yellow heirloom tomato from Eckerton Hill Farm, cut into bite-size pieces, mixed with good Campania olive oil, Maldon salt and freshly-ground pepper, a few drops of white balsamic vinegar, and torn bits of basil leaves from Keith’s Farm, served in oval dishes at the side of the plates
- the wine was a California (Lodi) white, Karen Birmingham Sauvignon Blanc Lodi 2015
- the music was 2 early nineteenth-century works by Nicholas von Krufft, in the album, ‘Sonatas For Bassoon And Fortepiano’, with Wouter Verschuren’s 1810 Cuvillier bassoon, and Kathryn Cok playing a copy of an 1805 Walther and Sohn fortepiano