Sometimes it all comes together when you weren’t particularly expecting it. This meal was a perfect symphony of its fairly basic elements, none of which were extraordinary on their own except for their freshness and their quality.
- one gorgeous 17-ounce section from a fillet of wild caught sockeye salmon (previously frozen), from Chelsea Whole Foods Market, halved, placed unseasoned, skin sides up, inside a heavy medium size enameled cast iron pan in which a little more than 2 tablespoons of a rich local Organic Valley ‘Cultured Pasture Butter’ had been allowed to melt over a low to medium flame until the foam began to recede, the salmon then placed inside a 425º oven until barely cooked, meaning about 8 minutes, flipped over after 5, removed, arranged on the plates, only now seasoned, with some local Long Island sea salt (P.E. & D.D. Seafood/Phil Karlin’s own) and freshly-ground black pepper, scattered with scissored chives from Phillips Farms, allowed to rest for a couple minutes before serving, arranged on the plates and garnished on the edges with micro purple radish from Windfall Farms
- thirteen ounces of ruby crescent fingerling potatoes (which are always really delicious roasted) from Mountain Sweet Berry Farm, halved lengthwise, tossed with a little olive oil, salt, pepper, the leaves from some rosemary stems, also from Phillips Farms, and a small amount of crushed golden home-dried habanada pepper, arranged cut side down on a large Pampered Chef unglazed ceramic pan, roasted at 425º for about 20 minutes
- one bunch of beautiful fresh, almost glowing, dandelion greens from Norwich Meadows Farm, washed in several changes of water, drained, the last of the drained water set aside, cut into 2 or 3-inch pieces, barely wilted in a little olive oil, along with 3 small cloves of ‘Chesnok Red’ garlic from Alewife Farm which had been heated in the oil until fragrant, a bit of the reserved water then added to loosen the greens, seasoned with a little crushed dried dried Itria-Sirissi chili, pepperoncino di Sardegna intero from Buon Italia, salt and pepper, and drizzled with a little olive oil
- the wine was a super, medium bodied Austrian (Mittelburgenland) red, Hochäcker Blaufränkisch 2015 (ours was not a magnum), from Flatiron Wines, from a district that shares its longer history with Hungary; but the story involving a more recent event, just thirty years ago, involving the Austria-Hungary border of which it is a part, is described here
- the music was a gorgeous opera composed by Vivaldi for the 1724 carnival season in Rome, ‘Il Giustino’, Ottavio Dantone conducting the Accademia Bizantina