This meal was as much of a pleasure to assemble as it was to consume.
In my next post I will describe a very different meal and a very different experience. This one was in line with my usual preference for simplicty and a minimum of ingredients, the earlier one involved a little too much of both.
- one striped Bass fillet (just over one pound, for the two of us) from Pura Vida Fisheries, divided into two 8 or 9-ounce pieces, scored with several very shallow slashes on the skin side, to prevent curling, placed in a black ceramic La Chamba pan, skin side down, sprinkled with chopped lovage leaves from Keith’s Farm (although almost any fresh herb would do as well), sea salt and freshly-ground pepper [and, normally, some homemade dry bread crumbs at this point, which I forgot to add this time, but with no negative consequences], and a drizzle of olive oil, the pan placed in a 425º oven for about 12 or 15 minutes, after which it was removed, arranged on plates, squeezed with lemon juice, scattered with fennel flowers from Rise & Root Farm
- one Sicilian (heirloom) eggplant, from Norwich Meadows Farm, sliced into 1/2-inch rounds, covered with olive oil by turning in them over in a shallow bowl in which some had been poured, pan-grilled, turning 3 times, to ensure cross-hatching, removed to a plate, brushed with a mixture of olive oil, finely-chopped German hardneck garlic from Race Farm, chopped marjoram from Stokes Farm, lemon zest, and freshly-ground pepper, and when done, drizzled with a little more olive oil and kept slightly warm while the fish was baked.
- very ripe, very sweet, very small cherry tomatoes from Stokes Farm, rolled in olive oil inside a smaller black ceramic pan, seasoned with salt and pepper, one small, mild Grenada yellow seasoning pepper from Eckerton Hill Farm, begun before the bass in the same 425º oven and removed just before they has begun to collapse, tossed with micro mustard greens from Two Guys from Woodbridge, served in small bowls to the side of the main plates
- the wine was a California (Lodi) white, Karen Birmingham Sauvignon Blanc Lodi 2015
- the music was Per Nørgård, Symphony No. 2, performed by the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, John Storgårds conducting