I had just picked up the scallops when I spotted the mushrooms. They were irresistible, so I decided they would join the shellfish for dinner.
I already had some beautiful purple mizuna at home that I had picked up on Friday from some of my favorite farmers, just returned to the Greenmarket after being away for the winter.
And so the meal came together, the work itself being little more complicated.
- fourteen sea scallops (12 ounces) from P.E. & D. D. Seafood, rinsed, dried thoroughly, seasoned with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, briefly pan-grilledy (90 seconds on each side), finished with a squeeze of juice from a sweet local lemon grown by Fantastic Gardens of Long Island and a drizzle of olive oil, placed on top of a bed of golden oyster mushrooms (8 ounces from Blue Oyster Cultivation) which had just been prepared, starting with roughly slicing the 2 ‘heads’ and sautéeing them inside a large enameled cast iron pan in a tablespoon of butter for about 4 minutes, one medium chopped finely-chopped shallot from Norwich Meadows Farm and one finely-chopped garlic clove from John D. Madura Farm added and stirred with the mushrooms for 2 minutes, a bit of crushed dried habanada pepper stirred in, almost a quarter cup of a dry (fino) sherry poured in and simmered, stirring, for another minute or two, the pan removed entirely from the heat and a tablespoon of butter, divided into small pieces, added and stirred until it had melted into its contents, the scallops sprinkled with a little very colorful ‘Bull’s Blood Beet’ from Windfall Farms after they had been arranged on the mushrooms
- purple mizuna from Bodhitree Farm, wilted in a little olive oil in which one bruised and halved garlic clove from John D. Madura Farm had first been allowed to sweat and begin to color, the greens seasoned with sea salt, freshly-ground Tellicherry pepper, a very small amount of crushed dried crushed dried Sicilian pepperoncino from Buon Italia, arranged on the plates and a little more olive oil drizzled on top
- the wine was a French (Loire) white, Jerome Choblet Fief Du Chant Baron Vieilles Vignes Muscadet Cotes De Grandlieu Sur Lie 2015, from Chelsea wine vault
- the music was the magnificent 1846 piece which Hector Berlioz’ called a “légende dramatique”, ‘La Damnation De Faust’, Myung-Whun Chung directing the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Philharmonia Chorus, and the Eton College Boys’ Choir, with soloists Keith Lewis, Anne Sofie von Otter, Bryn Terfel, Victor von Halem, and David Nicklass