John Dory, leek, capers, saffron; collards, garlic, lemon zest


I try not to use the same recipe over and over again, even if my cooking style is to stay pretty minimal. But when we’re both hungry, I’m not really able to investigate a new approach, I end up repeating myself more often than I would want to.

On Wednesday I brought home 4 beautiful John Dory fillets from the Greenmarket, and, knowing I had a little more time than usual, I latched onto an entirely new recipe, or at least it was new to me. It tuned out absolutely delicious. but I’m not sure I will be using it any time soon, only because it was, well.., a little too ‘saucy”.

  • four shiny 3-ounce John Dory fillets from Blue Moon FIsh Company, seared for about 4 minutes in a mixture of olive oil and butter, flipped, and cooked for about another minute, then spooned with a sauce which was a part of a recipe from David Pasternak’s ‘The Young Man and the Sea’.  It started with one smashed rocambole garlic head from Keith’s Farm and one bay leaf from Westside Market, which were cooked together until the garlic had softened, then some saffron threads from Spain [via I-have-no-idea-where, but purchased long ago] added and stirred in for a moment before the addition of some salt-packed capers from Buon Italia, previously rinsed and chopped, and the equivalent of one large leek from Lucky Dog Organic Farm, washed and sliced into 1/2-inch sections, the entire sauce mix cooked slowly for about 20 minutes while covered closely below a circle of parchment paper, after which a couple of tablespoons of chopped parsley from Phillips Farm were added
  • collard greens from Tamarack Hollow Farm, cut as a rough chiffonade, then braised in a heavy pot in which one halved rocambole garlic head from Keith’s Farm had been allowed to sweat in some olive oil, the dish finished with salt, pepper, a drizzle of olive oil, and grated zest from an organic lemon
  • the wine was a California (Napa) white, Matthew Iaconis Napa Valley Chardonnay 2014 (a Burgundy style, it’s Matt’s wine, and comes to us via Naked Wines
  • the music was Hans Rott, his Symphony in E major, composed when he was 20, four years before his tragic death; we listened to a performance by Leif Segerstam and the Norrkoping Symphony Orchestra;  may I go on?  Kyle Gann has written, about the relationship between Gustav Mahler and Hans Rott, “This is the great classical music movie waiting to be made.”