cod with mushrooms; cress with wild garlic; yellow tomato


‘Pan-Seared Cod with Mushrooms’: It’s a fascinating recipe, but I have to append a bold note to my copy: ‘do not try this again unless you really do have low-sodium stock.’ I can’t say I wasn’t warned, since the instructions had made it very clear; it’s just that I haven’t yet been able to locate a [good] vegetable stock described as low sodium.

I’ve made 2 adjustments to the original recipe: First, I used a quarter of the amount of mushrooms it suggests, as once before; and second, I used lovage rather than the parsley or chives indicated.  I also could have gotten away with maybe half the stock specified, since I included far fewer mushrooms than the site had instructed.

Once served, at least initially, the cod was more salty than either of us would prefer, but a squeeze of lemon and some good fresh bread (‘rustic classic’ from Eataly, sliced) allowed us to appreciate the food, and the wine, and in the end the salinity seemed to have disappeared.

I’ll still say it’s a good recipe, and not just because it’s something of a novelty, but it probably has to be used with some caution.

  • two cod fillets (totalling 15 oz) from P.E. & D.D. Seafood, prepared roughly along the lines of this recipe, with the changes noted above, using oyster mushrooms from Blue Oyster Cultivation, flakes of dried Itria-Sirissi chili (peperoncino di Sardegna intero) from Buon Italia, vegetable broth made from a concentrate manufactured by Better Than Bullion, ‘Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter‘ from Whole Foods, juice from a delicious, rather sweet lemon grown locally by Fantastic Gardens of Long Island, and lovage from Two Guys from Woodbridge
  • four yellow tomatoes (hydroponic) from Shushan Valley Hydro Farm, halved, seasoned with salt and pepper, pan grilled, then sprinkled with chopped thyme from Forager’s and chopped oregano from Stokes Farm
  • some very peppery wild cress from Lani’s Farm, wilted a bit with olive oil over a medium flame together with finely-chopped wild garlic, also from Lani’s Farm, then seasoned with salt and pepper, and finished with a drizzle of olive oil
  • the wine was an Oregon (Willamette Valley) white, Underwood Pinot Gris 2014
  • the music was Georg Phillip Teleman’s ‘Orpheus’, René Jacobs directing the Academy for Ancient Music Berlin and the Berlin RIAS Chamber Chorus, with Ruth Ziesak, Werner Güra, Maria Cristina Kiehr, Isabelle Poulenard, Axel Köhler, Hanno Müller-Brachmann, Dorothea Röschmann, and Roman Trekel