The squid was certainly Italian, both the fact of squid and the preparation; the vegetables were also Italian, again, fact and execution (the wine however was Spanish, because, well, we didn’t have a suitable Italian on hand).
Nothing put onto the table last night was ‘costly’, and, except for the squid, for which I exchanged $6 with the fisherman’s family that day, it basically incorporated what was already in the kitchen or pantry.
- twelve ounces of cleaned squid, bodies and tentacles, from P.E. & D.D. Seafood, marinated for about half an hour (half of that time in the refrigerator) in a bowl containing a mixture of the zest and juice of most of one lemon, thinly-sliced garlic from Willow Wisp Farm, olive oil, pungent dried Italian oregano from Buon Italia, some finely-chopped pieces from a red Calabrian pepper from Campo Rosso Farm, salt, and pepper, then removed from the marinade, drained, pan-grilled briefly over high heat, arranged on plates, sprinkled with fresh lemon juice and some chopped parsley from Keith’s Farm, drizzled with olive oil [the basic recipe, with more specific instructions appears here]
- one luscious round Sicilian (heirloom?) eggplant, from Phillips Farm, sliced into 1/2-inch rounds, brushed with a mixture of olive oil, finely-chopped garlic from Willow Wisp Farm, chopped peppermint leaves from Stokes Farm, salt, and pepper, the slices pan-grilled, turning once, removed to a platter, replaced in the pan by one orange-red heirloom tomato (‘Striped German’), sliced into 1/2-inch rounds and its surfaces seasoned with salt and pepper, where it was grilled on both sides, arranged on the platter with the eggplant, sprinkled with more freshly-chopped mint leaves, drizzled with a little olive oil, some micro bronze fennel from Two Guys from Woodbridge tossed on the top, the vegetables kept at room temperature, for a short while while the squid was grilled.
- the wine was a Spanish (Rueda) white, Naia D.O. Rueda 2014, Verdejo old vines, from Philippe Liquors
- the music was François Francoeur, ‘Symphonies pour le Festin Royal’, Hugo Reyne conducting La Simphonie du Marais [music composed for the 1773 wedding banquet of the Comte d’Artois, later to become the last Bourbon king of France, as Charles X]