This recipe, as described by Mark Bittman long ago, is really quite simple, but I have not always been able to leave it as I found it. This time I included small bits of 2 different seasoning peppers, an heirloom tomato, and a colorful micro green, and I eliminated the parsley.
- two cod fillets (19-ounces total) from P.E. & D.D. Seafood in the Union Square greenmarket, washed and rinsed, placed in a platter on a bed of coarse sea salt, more salt added on top until the pieces were completely covered then set aside while a bed of potatoes was prepared for them by slicing lengthwise (to a thickness of roughly 1/4″) a pound or so of Norland red potatoes from Norwich Meadows Farm, tossing them in a large bowl with a little olive oil, sea salt, freshly-ground black pepper, and a large section of an orange/gold home-dried Habanada pepper (bought fresh last fall from Norwich Meadows Farm), arranging the potatoes, overlapping, inside a rectangular glazed ceramic oven pan, and cooking them for 25 minutes or so in a 400º oven, or until they were tender when pierced, but not quite fully cooked, then, the cod fillets, having already been removed from the platter and their salt covering, thoroughly immersed in many fresh changes of water to bring down the saltiness (the soaking process somehow gives the fish more solidity, which can be easily felt while it’s being handled it at this point; it’s kinda sexy), drained and dried, were placed inside the pan on top of the potatoes, drizzled with a little olive oil, sprinkled with some freshly-ground black pepper, and vaguely blanketed with thin slices of one green heirloom tomato from Eckerton Hill Farm, the tomato seasoned lightly, the pan returned to the oven for [for 5-ounce fillets, it might be 8 or 9 minutes, so maybe 9 or 10 minutes (the exact time depends on the thickness of the fillets)], or until just cooked through, removing the fish and tomato with a spatula (or, better, 2 spatulas), along with as much of the potatoes as can be brought with each piece, arranging everything as intact as possible on the plates, returning to the pan for the remainder of the potatoes, the servings garnished with a purple micro radish from Windfall Farms
- slices of a She Wolf Bakery sourdough bâtard
- delicate purple mustard greens from Norwich Meadow Farms, wilted for only seconds in a little live oil in which 2 small cloves of sliced rocambole garlic from Keith’s Farm had been allowed to sweat, seasoned with sea salt and freshly-ground pepper, finished on the plates with a drizzle of olive oil
- the wine was a California white, Miriam Alexandra Chenin Blanc California 2017, from Naked Wines
[the image of the program for the 1770 premier performance of the opera is from One Delightful Day]