I didn’t plan it that way, but last night’s dinner looks very much like a summer meal. All of its major elements however came fresh from local producers, and had been in the Union Square Greenmarket this week. Not quite making that cut were the tomatoes, which came from Maine, meaning that, while they weren’t quite local, they didn’t come from thousands of miles away. Otherwise, the real locavore exceptions were the olive oil, butter, salt, pepper, lemon, and vinegar.
The pole beans were a big December surprise, and they were delicious. I managed to gather up the last of them from inside the farmer’s bucket yesterday.
- two 8-ounce flounder fillets from Pura Vida Seafood, lightly seasoned, sautéed with the flesh side down for about 3 minutes in a tablespoon each of olive oil and butter inside a heavy old, tin-lined copper pan over medium-high heat, turning once and cooking for another 2 minutes or so, placed on the plates, a couple of spoonfuls of ‘tomato butter’ [see the bullet below] arranged on each fillet
- tomato butter, begun by melting 3 tablespoons of melted butter inside a 19th-century enameled cast iron porringer, adding 2 finely-chopped small Japanese scallions from Norwich Meadows Farm until they were slightly soft and fragrant, letting the flavored butter cool slightly before being poured over 4 ounces of Backyard Farms Maine ‘cocktail tomatoes’ from Whole Foods, cut into eighths, adding 2 tablespoons of fresh chopped tarragon from Willow Wisp Organic Farm, the mix seasoned with salt, and adding a few drops of good Spanish Rioja wine vinegar
- some leaves from a live mesclun plant from Two Guys from Woodbridge, dressed with a bit of a very good Sicilian olive oil, Maldon salt, freshly-ground black pepper, and a small squeeze from an organic Whole Foods Market lemon
- yellow pole beans from Norwich Meadows Farm, blanched, reheated as later as the fish was finishing cooking in a bit of olive oil, seasoned with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper and finished with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of micro scallion from Two Guys from Woodbridge
- the wine was an Argentinian (Cafayate/Salta) white, Amauta Torrontés 2016 from Phillipe Wines
- the music was Lully‘s 1674 tragédie en musique, ‘Alceste‘, Christophe Rousset directing Les Talens Lyriques, with Judith van Wanroij, Edwin Crossley-Mercer, Emiliano Gonzales Toro, Bre Williams, Etienne Bazola, Bénédicte Tauran, Lucía Martín-Cartón, Enguerrand de Hys, and the Chœur de chambre Namur