The excellent swordfish and the luscious tomatoes were terrific side dishes for the puntarelle, a huge hit with both Barry and myself last night; it was probably the best we’d ever had at home.
- two thick 7.5-ounce swordfish steaks from American Seafood Company in the Union Square Greenmarket, halved, marinated for more than half an hour in a mixture of a couple tablespoons of olive oil, a bit of a pungent dried Sicilian oregano, sold still on the stems at Buon Italia, a small amount of crushed, dried pepperoncino Calabresi secchi, also from Buon Italia, about the same bit of a piece of crushed dried golden/orange habanada pepper, and a thinly-sliced section of a small early, scallion-like red onion from Berried Treasures Farm, after which they were drained, covered on both sides with a coating of homemade dried breadcrumbs, pan-grilled over medium-high heat for 4 minutes on each side, or until barely cooked all of the way through, removed, arranged on the plates, seasoned with a little Maldon salt, drizzled with some tomato water that remained from an earlier meal, a bit of juice from a Whole Foods Market organic lemon squeezed on top, sprinkled with a bit of onion that had been preserved, drizzled with a little olive oil, finished with a garnish of micro bronze fennel from Two Guys from Woodbridge
- four ripe heirloom tomatoes, of different colors, sizes and shapes, and from 2 different local fields, those of Norwich Meadows Farm and Eckerton Hill Farm, halved, sprinkled with a small amount of sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, briefly placed inside the grill pan just as the swordfish was being removed, turned over once, then arranged on the plates, drizzled with a little olive oil and garnished with chopped thyme from Campo Rosso Farm
- only a part of a generous tied bundle of puntarelle from Tamarack Hollow Farm, thoroughly washed, the leaves separated and placed inside a large bowl of ice water, where they were allowed to sit outside the refrigerator for about one hour, while, half an hour later, three quarters of a tablespoon of red wine vinegar was placed inside a small bowl with 2 well-rinsed, finely-chopped large Agostino Recca salted Sicilian anchovies and 2 crushed Rocambole garlic cloves from Keith’s Farm, also allowed to rest, for this time for only about half an hour, and also outside the refrigerator, at which time the garlic was removed from the small bowl and the puntarelle was drained and dried (using a kitchen towel), placed inside a large bowl, the vinegar mixture poured over it, the greens seasoned very lightly with sea salt, and one and a half tablespoons of olive oil added, along with freshly-ground black pepper, and then the salad mixed or tossed at the last minute and served [the puntarelle I have always prepared appears to be a leaf-only version of Cicoria Cataglogna, I’ve never seen the form with the juicy edible shoots, or sweet, hollow inner stalks, in our own local greenmarket; there’s more information here]
- the wine was a wonderful Spanish (Galicia) white, Valdesil, Godello Sobre Lias, 2015, from Flatiron Wines
- the music was the album, ‘Ramon Llull: Temps de conquestes, de diàleg i desconhort’, Jordi Savall conducting Hespérion XXI and La Capella Reial de Catalunya