fennel-grilled tuna; grilled tomato; sautéed radish, scallion


The colors, deeper than those displayed on these pages, suggest we’ve moved into late summer.

Although it’s barely worth mentioning, there’s the fact that the same herb or vegetable was used in 2 or 3 different forms in 2 of the 3 items on the plates last night. It hadn’t really been a plan, but I ended up finishing the ground-dry-fennel-covered tuna with fresh fennel flowers, and the radish roots and greens with fresh micro radish, and it worked.



In a related move, the sweet acidity of the tomato was accompanied by another sweet acid, a balsamic vinegar, but this is something I do very often.

  • one 13-ounce tuna steak, divided into 2 pieces, rubbed top and bottom with a mixture of dry Italian fennel seed and a little dried Itria-Sirissi chilis (peperoncino di Sardegna intero) from Buon Italia, first ground together in a mortar-and-pestle, the surfaces 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 organic lemon from Whole Foods, scattered with fresh fennel flowers from Ryder Farm, and drizzled with a very good olive oil
  • small seasoned pan-grilled ‘black’ (they darken as they ripen) plum tomatoes from Berried Treasures Farm, finished with a dab of olive oil and a bit of balsamic vinegar
  • one small bunch of radishes (‘Easter Egg’) from Willow Wisp Farm, washed and halved, the leaves removed and set aside, sautéed in a little olive oil in a copper skillet for a few minutes, 5 small scallions from Race Farm, sliced, along with part of a finely-chopped small red Calabrian pepper from Campo Rosso Farm added near the end of the cooking, after which the radish leaves, cut into smaller pieces, were introduced into the pan, stirred, and allowed to wilt, the mix sprinkled with salt and pepper, more of the chopped scallion added at this time, and a little white wine poured in and stirred, until the liquid had evaporated
  • the wine was an Italian (Campania) white, I Vini della Sibilla Falanghina dei Campi Flegrei 2015, from Chelsea Wine Vault
  • the music was again from the excellent 4-disc album, ‘The Sons of Bach‘ this time pieces by Johann Christian Bach, ‘the London Bach’, or ‘the English Bach’