squid with oregano, chili; mustard greens; garlic tomatoes


I was already pretty aware of the impact of color in food presentation, and therefore in its enjoyment, but lately it seems to have assumed even more importance in my meal planning (no, my planning area does not look like this). The most important thing still is weighing which elements best compliment the others’ flavors, second only to deciding which ingredients should be used sooner than later for freshest effect, but a consciousness of color – and texture – have become very important in determining the final mix.

So here we have arrived at the composition of this particular dinner, and I see that even long after the end of summer, it’s still difficult for me to shake the seductive color of a red tomato; thank goodness for modern agronomy (and the high tunnel).

  • three quarters of a pound of baby squid, bodies and tentacles, from Blue Moon Fish Company, rinsed, dried, very quickly arranged in an enameled cast iron pan after its cooking surface had been brushed with olive oil and heated on top of the range until very hot, sprinkled with some super-pungent dried Italian oregano from Buon Italia and one crushed dried pepperoncino, also from Buon Italia, then a good squeeze of lemon juice and some olive oil drizzled over the top, and placed in a pre-heated 400º oven, roasted for four or five minutes
  • six Backyard Farms Maine ‘cocktail tomatoes’ from Whole Foods, halved, combined in a small ceramic baking dish with one sliced fresh green garlic from Lani’s Farm, a little olive oil, half of a teaspoon of chopped thyme from Hawthorne Valley Farm, salt, and freshly-ground black pepper, placed in a 400º oven for about 20 minutes, removed, sprinkled with more thyme and some chopped parsley from Paffenroth Farm
  • red mustard greens from Keith’s Farm, wilted with oil which had already warmed one large clove of bruised Rocambole garlic, also from Keith’s Farm, quartered, then seasoned with salt, and pepper, and finished with a drizzle of oil
  • the wine was a Spanish (eastern Galicia) white, Pazzo de Monterrey Godello 2014
  • the music was Carlos Chavez, his Symphony No.3