We love whiting, but because we have it so seldom I’m only reminded of just how much once we sit down to enjoy it again.
This meal was an excellent reminder.
- one 12-ounce whiting fillet from Pura Vida Seafood, rinsed, dried, cut into 2 pieces, seasoned with salt and freshly-ground pepper, placed inside a heavy tin-lined oval copper pan and prepared something like this terrific Melissa Clark recipe (which can be used for almost any white fish fillet), using one thick thick scallion from Alex’s Tomato Farm (the 23rd Street Satuday market), Organic Valley ‘Cultured Pasture Butter’, at least 4 tablespoons of a mix of 7 different chopped herbs (this time a combination of peppermint, bush basil, and oregano from Norwich Meadows Farm, summer savory and thyme from Stokes Farm, fennel frond from Alewife Farm, and dill flowers from Eckerton Hill Farm), briefly improvising a little aluminum foil for the cover mentioned in the recipe, and using a wooden spoon to repeatedly spread/ladle the scallion-herb butter over the fillets (there was plenty of room in the pan this time); the lemon juice was from an organic fruit from Whole Foods Market
But there’s much more to a good dinner than its protein stars, however wonderful they may be. These images include [most of] the herbs and vegetables I used this time, while they waited to dry, occupying virtually all of the counter surfaces of our kitchen.
- one white ‘Boothby’ cucumber from Willow Wisp Farm, sliced thickly, dried, sautéed inside a large high-sided tin-lined copper pan in a little olive oil over a fairly high flame until the pieces had begun to color, turning once, then joined by several baby French Leeks (using the white sections and some of the lighter green) from Mountain Sweet Berry Farm and some sliced fennel stems, both from Alewife Farm, everything sautéed until somewhat caramelized, sea salt and freshly-ground Tellicherry pepper added, and, when the heat had been turned off, a large handful of very ripe small golden cherry tomatoes, also from Alewife Farm, rolled around inside the pan with the rest of the vegetables until warmed through but still whole, the vegetables arranged on the plates and garnished with micro nasturtium leaves from Two Guys from Woodbridge
There had also been an antipasto.
- Applegate Naturals prosciutto from Whole Foods (a 4 ounce package), wrapped around the tines of a large fork, arranged on 2 plates, drizzled with a good olive oil, Alce Nero DOP ‘Terra di Bari Bitonto’ from Eataly
- some really good red dandelion leaves from Norwich Meadows Farm, seasoned with Maldon salt and freshly-ground Tellicherry pepper, drizzled with the same oil and a bit of juice from a Whole Foods Market organic lemon
- slices of a small “Medieval Baguette’, from Bobolink Dairy & Bakehouse in Union Square Greenmarket
- the wine was an Oregon (Willamette) white, Carabella Vineyard Pinot Gris Estate Chehalem Mountains 2014, from Chelsea Wine Vault
- the music was Vivaldi’s only surviving oratorio, his 1716 ‘Juditha Triumphans’, a breathtaking work – and performance, Alessandro de Marchi conducting the Academia Montis Regalis