smoked pepper sausage; grilled plum tomatoes; cucumber

I had no plan for what I was going to make for dinner, other than that 2 ripe plum tomatoes would be a part of it. Then I remembered that Barry was going to be very near Schaller & Weber on the Upper East Side that afternoon, and I knew that one of their excellent ‘ancestral’ German wursts would do just fine. Or maybe something not so traditional, like their terrific smoked ‘hatch pepper‘ chili sausages. We had enjoyed them at their Stube and at home, but we thought they had only been a short-term summer special. Neither of us expected they would still have any, but they were there when Barry checked their Metzgerei selection.

I wasn’t sure what to serve with those two choices, tomato and spicy sausage (they didn’t seem to add up to a full meal on their own). I had just about decided on a few small boiled potatoes, with some fresh herb, when I remembered I had brought home some really small cucumbers earlier in the day. Now the meal would be neither German nor Italian; maybe it was just New York-ish.

(these cukes are only 2 to 2 1/2 inches long)


  • four smoked hatch spicy chile sausages from Schaller & Weber, pan grilled until they looked a little blistery
  • two ripe ‘striped Roman’ heirloom plum tomatoes from Berried Treasures Farm, halved, their surfaces dried, the cut sides placed on top of a mix of sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper spread across a plate, pan-grilled inside an enameled cast iron pan for a few minutes, turned, the grilling continued for about the same length of time, removed, arranged on the 2 plates, brushed with a bit of olive oil and a tiny bit of balsamic vinegar
  • a couple handfuls of tiny cucumbers from Norwich Meadows Farm (they were labelled, ‘Excelsior’, but they seemed to me to be several different kinds), sliced lengthwise, sautéed in a little olive oil inside a large enameled cast iron pan until they had begun to caramelize, and, shortly before that moment, joined by thick slices of a ‘scarlet’, or ‘Japanese’ scallion from Norwich Meadows Farm and some finely-chopped pieces of a small Calabrian medium-hot cherry pepper from Alewife Farm, seasoned with se salt and freshly-ground black pepper, served on the plates sprinkled with a little micro sorrel from Two Guy from Woodbridge and drizzled with olive oil
  • the wine was a California (Amador) red, Ana Diogo-Draper Amador Tempranillo 2015, from Naked Wines
  • the music was Francesco Antonio Bonporti’s 10 Inventions, Op. 10