Together we opted for the simplest of the recipes I’ve used in preparing sea bass, because the cook was tired, but also because this time the muse wanted something more like comfort food than delicate display. Ironically, the finished meal described in the picture above looks pretty basic, if not minimal (even to the absence of any of my usual micro green garnishes this time).
- two 7-ounce black sea bass fillets from American Seafood, rinsed, dried, and placed skin side down inside a tin-lined copper au gratin pan in which a teaspoon or so of olive oil had been poured and brushed around the surface, the fish seasoned with salt and pepper, sprinkled with a mix of parsley from Eataly; lovage from Two Guys from Woodbridge; sage and thyme, both partially-dried, from Phillips Farm; mint from Windfall Farms; and a bit of a home-dried heatless, orange/ gold Habanada pepper (from fruit grown by fresh Norwich Meadows Farm last fall), the fish topped with a coating of homemade bread crumbs, and drizzled with 2 teaspoons of olive oil, placed inside a 425º oven for 9 or 10 minutes, arranged on 2 plates, finished with a squeeze of an organic lemon from Whole Foods Market and a light drizzle of olive oil
- three Backyard Farms Maine ‘cocktail tomatoes’ from Whole Foods Market, halved, arranged around the bass inside the pan in the last 3 or 4 minutes of their cooking, placed on the plates next to the fish, finished with chopped parsley
- one small bunch of cavalo nero from Norwich Meadows Farm, wilted briefly inside a large vintage tin-lined copper pot in a tablespoon or so of olive oil in which 2 cloves of Keith’s Farm Rocambole garlic had first been heated, seasoned with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, drizzled with a little more oil
- the wine was an Italian (Umbria) white, Trebbiano Spoletino ‘Farandola’ Di Filippo 2016, from Astor Wines
- the music was Francesco Cavalli’s, opera, ‘Gli Amori D’Apollo E Di Dafne’ (The Loves of Apollo and Daphne), which premiered in Venice during the Carnival season of 1640, performed by the Ensemble Elyma