The beautiful radish we sampled before sitting down was the most novel part of this meal, but the entrée was no less delicious, for all its familiarity.
- a section from a ‘Purple Triton’ radish (see the picture on their site) from Windfall Farms, thinly-sliced, or shaved, on the spot, and served with a small bowl of Maldon salt
- a few Firehook Mediterranean Baked Rosemary Sea Salt Crackers from Chelsea Whole Foods Market
We love skate.
The main course was pretty colorful in its own right, more colorful than a plate can be expected to appear in the middle of a New York February.
- four small skate wings (12 ounces total) from P.E. & D.D. Seafood, coated all over with a local coarse polenta (‘Stone-Ground Polenta’ from Wild Hive Farm Community Grain Project) that had been seasoned with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, sautéed in olive oil and a bit of butter for a couple of minutes or so on each side, inside a heavy enameled cast iron oven pan, then removed to 2 plates and kept warm while a tablespoon and a half of butter was added to the pan, along with one chopped ‘yellow shallot’ from Norwich Meadows Farm and 2 cloves of ‘music’/aka ‘strong neck’ garlic from Windfall Farms, the alliums stirred over a now-lowered flame and allowed to only sweat a bit before the heat was turned off altogether, when another 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter was added, along with the juice from half of a Whole Foods Market organic lemon and a small handful of baby sorrel from Two Guys from Woodbridge, very briefly stirred to blend together and make a proper sauce to be poured over the skate (the sorrel retained its color and didn’t turn olive green, because it was really never fully heated)
- three Backyard Farms Maine ‘cocktail tomatoes’ from Whole Foods Market, halved, their cut sides sprinkled with salt and pepper, pan grilled, turning once, arranged on the plates, sprinkled with thyme leaves from Phillips Farms, and drizzled with a bit of olive oil
- one bunch of small bok choy from Lani’s Farm, washed and drained, stirred into a large antique large copper pot inside of which one halved garlic clove had been heated until just beginning to color, cooked until barely tender, their stem sections even a little crunchy [note: like all greens, they continue to reduce, or wilt, even after they are removed from the heat], seasoned with salt and pepper, arranged on the plates, and drizzled with a little more olive oil
- the wine was a French (Loire/Touraine) white, Cheverny Blanc ‘Cuvée des Ormes,’ Dom. Jérôme Marcadet 2017, from Astor Wines
- the music was Bellini’s 1835 opera, ‘I Puritani’, Richard Bonynge conducting the London Symphony Orchestra and the Chorus of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, with Joan Sutherland, Luciano Pavarotti, Piero Cappuccilli, and Nicolai Ghiaurov