It’s both a great fish and a luscious dish. Also, because of at least slight variations in the ingredients each time, starting with the kinds of tomatoes available, it never tastes quite the same. I think of that as a plus.
- the preparations began with a salsa, assembled about 30 minutes in advance inside a small bowl, containing one cup of halved golden cherry tomatoes from Windfall Farms, half a cup of pitted and halved kalamata olives from Whole Foods Market, sea salt, freshly-ground black pepper, 2 finely chopped fresh aji dulce peppers from Eckerton Hill Farm, and a little olive oil, the mix set aside while the fish was cooked: four 4-ounce black sea bass fillets from American Seafood Company, seasoned on both sides with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, sautéed skin side down over a fairly brisk flame in a little Mac Nut macademia nut oil (which has a higher smoke point than olive oil) from Whole Foods Market inside a large, heavy antique oval copper skillet skin side down, turned after about 2 minutes, the other side cooked for about the same length of time, removed to 2 warm plates when done, 2 tablespoons of butter added to the pan and allowed to melt, a couple tablespoons of chopped peppermint from Keith’s Farm and chopped parsley from Quarton Farm tossed in, along with a tablespoon or more of Whole Foods Market organic lemon juice, and everything stirred for a few seconds before the sauce was spooned on top of the bass and the salsa set aside earlier arranged in a cascade between the 2 filets on each plate, both fish and salsa garnished with micro red vein sorrel from Two Guys from Woodbridge
- six or 7 ounces remaining from a 17-ounce head of rosa di verona radicchio from Campo Rosso Farm, whose outer leaves had been used in an earlier meal, cut roughly crosswise and sautéed until barely wilted inside a large, high-sided tin-lined copper pot with a little olive oil in which one sliced medium ‘Chesnok Red’ garlic clove from Alewife Farm and 2 thinly sliced French leeks from Mountain Sweet Berry Farm had already been heated until they had softened, seasoned with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, arranged on the plates and drizzled with a little more olive oil
- the wine was a Portuguese (Dão) white, Prunus White, Dão 2017, from Astor Wines
- the music was Carl Maria von Weber’s important romantic German romantic opera, whose premier was in 1821, ‘Der Freischutz’, Mark Janowski conducting the Frankfurt Radio Symphony