skate with shallots, garlic, lemon, parsley; romanesco, chili


picture of the skate, about a minute after being place in the new skillet


This was a fairly simple meal, and an extremely good one. Its remarkable goodness was actually a surprise for me. We enjoy skate and Romanesco broccoli very much, and I serve each with some regularity, but they were both more tasty this time than they had ever been before.

I can’t account for the exceptional goodness of the skate and its sauce, except to consider the fact this was my first outing with a beautiful new copper skillet, and that might have contributed something to the result.  The only thing novel about the preparation of the it-looks-like-cauliflower broccoli was the fact that I inadvertently tossed the florets with less olive oil than I had in the past, and that, combined with their feathery tops, meant that there was more opportunity for them to develop a nutty, slightly toasted flavor.


  • two skate wings from P.E. & D.D. Seafood, each divided into two sections, coated with a coarse polenta which had been seasoned with salt and pepper, sautéed in olive oil for a few minutes, removed from the pan, the pan wiped with a paper towel, then some butter, chopped shallots from Phillips Farm, and sliced garlic from Berried Treasures introduced into it and stirred over a heat which had first been lowered, followed by the addition of a little more butter, juice from half of an organic lemon, and chopped parsley from Phillips Farm
  • one fairly small Romanesco broccoli head from Phillips Farm, broken up into florets which were then tossed in a little olive oil, salt, pepper, and pepperoncino, spread onto a ceramic oven pan, roasted at 400º for about 25 minutes, removed from the oven, and, when the pan had begun to cool down, drizzled with olive oil and stirred

The entrée was followed by a small cheese course, because, well,.. because the cheese was there, and because we didn’t want one of my favorites, Karen Weinberg’s, ‘Shushan Snow‘, from her family’s 3-Corner Field Farm, to mature beyond its perfection.

  • one section of a round of ‘Shushan Snow‘ sheep cheese from 3-Corner Field Farm, served with thin toasts made from a 4-day-old loaf of Grand Daisy Pugliese Pane, from Whole Foods


  • the wine throughout was a Canadian (Quebec) white, Maurice Dufour‘s, Vinifie Chez Maurice Dufour Le Charlevoyou Muscat Osceola 2014 (the grapes are Osceola Muscat, a small, very winter-hardy white Muscat-type grape developed in Wisconsin, which M. Dufour purchases from Royarnois Estate, a vineyard a few kilometers from his home and chai [it’s a very limited production (we bought it à la maison, just outside Baie-Saint-Paul late last spring), and it’s not available in the U.S., but if it were possible I would buy a case today]
  • the music was once again a streaming of the continuing WQXR annual 10-day, year-end Bach Festival, this time a broadcast of the composer’s dramatic Johannespassion‘, BWV 245, in a performance by the Dunedin Consort which included an ‘ideal’ of the original Lutheran vesper liturgy (here, organ and congregational chorales, organ prelude, responsory, collect, blessing, another responsory, another chorale, and a final congregational chorale; it was awesome!