fennel-grilled tuna, micro radish greens; spigarello; tomato


I love these colors, and they taste as good as they look.

On my second run-through in preparing spigarello, I remembered to slip the leaves off of their somewhat sturdier stems, but I forgot my other major admonition: be sure to blanch this green before sautéing it. Unblanched, it was more than a little bitter, at least until we squeezed more lemon and drizzled more oil on top. Three times will be perfect, nah?

  • two small (5 or 6-ounce) tuna steaks from Blue Moon Fish Company, rubbed top and bottom with a mixture of dry Italian fennel seed and one and a half dried Itria-Sirissi chilis, peperoncino di Sardegna intero, from Buon Italia, first ground together in a mortar-and-pestle, the tuna additionally seasoned with salt and pepper, pan-grilled for only a little more than a minute or so on each side, finished with a good squeeze of lemon, a drizzle of olive oil, and a scattering of purple radish micro greens from Two Guys from Woodbridge
  • spigarello (Cavolo Broccolo a Getti di Napoli, or Minestra Nera) from Norwich Meadow Farm, stems removed, washed, drained, sautéed in olive oil in which one chopped garlic and a small amount of a chopped cherry bomb/red bomb pepper from Norwich Meadows Farm had first been softened, sprinkled with a little Limoneira lemon juice and drizzled with olive oil [note: these greens really have to be blanched for a couple minutes to tone down their natural bitterness, and I failed to do that this time]
  • one yellow heirloom tomato from Keith’s Farm, sliced horizontally into four disks and placed on the plates, where it was drizzled with a good Campania olive oil, D.O.P. Penisola Sorrentina ‘Syrenum’, seasoned with Maldon salt and Tellicherry pepper, sprinkled with fresh fennel flowers from Mountain Sweet Berry Farm
  • slices from a loaf of ‘Commune’ from Sullivan Street Bakery

There was a cheese course.

  • three great cheeses from Consider Bardwell Farm: ‘Dorset’, a rich, buttery washed-rind cow milk cheese, and their 2 new-ish blues, ‘Barden Blue’, a cow cheese, and an awesome goat blue which has not yet been named (although I’ve suggested ‘Wellen’)
  • very thin slices of ‘Commune’ from Sullivan Street Bakery