In all of Italy, couscous is a tradition only in Sicily and in Sardinia (apparently with the exception of somewhere in Rome): In Sicily it’s cooked with fish, in Sardinia with lamb; we were right on target this evening.
- a small serving of a rich couscous (prepared with Sicilian olives, garlic, dried peperoncino, cherry tomatoes, and juices from the monkfish with which it had been prepared a few days ago), a mix which, having survived the earlier feast, was now gently reheated while small amounts of a good stock were added to the mix, and served in shallow bowls
- four absolutely superb small lamb loin chops from Dickson’s Farmstand Meats, cooked on a very hot grill pan for about 5 or 6 minutes on each side, seasoned with salt and pepper after they were first turned over, finished with juice of a local lemon from Fantastic Gardens of New Jersey, chopped lovage from Two Guys from Woodbridge, chopped winter savory form Stokes Farm, and a drizzle of olive oil
- a large handful of micro beets from Two Guys from Woodbridge, washed, drained, allowed to dry, then gathered on two plates where they were drizzled with a good Umbrian olive oil (Luciana Cerbini Casa Gola from Buon Italia), a squeeze of the same local lemon used on the lamb, salt and pepper
- kale rabe from Alewife Farm, washed, drained, and braised in a heavy pot in which two halved garlic cloves from Whole Foods had first been allowed to sweat in some olive oil, the dish finished with salt, pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil
- the wine was a very special California (Sonoma) red, Scott Peterson Rumpus Cabernet Sauvignon California 2014 from NakedWines.com
- the music was Aulis Sallinen’s Symphony No 5, Ari Rasilainen conducting the Rheinland-Pfalz State Philharmonic Orchestra