black sea bass; tomato-olive-shallot salsa; curly kale, garlic


This one really had to be rushed, since we had come back from gallery openings later than we had expected, and it was a ‘school night’. I was afraid this fine fish might suffer, but because it requires so little fuss, because all the other ingredients were so fresh, and because I specifically picked formulas which were really quick to prepare, everything turned out super.

Putting the salsa together was the most complicated and time-consuming part of the process, and even that was a total cinch, required no concentration, and allowed me to set up everything else while it was sitting around blending flavors.

  • two 5-ounce black sea bass fillets from Blue Moon Fish, seasoned on both sides with salt and pepper, sautéed over a fairly brisk flame with butter and a little olive oil inside a large, thick oval copper pan, skin side down, turned after about 2-3 minutes, the other side cooked for about the same length of time, removed to 2 plates when done, covered at least a little to keep warm, and 2 tablespoons of butter added to the pan, allowed to melt, a couple tablespoons of chopped lovage and chopped parsley, both from Keith’s Farm, and a tablespoon of lemon juice, or a little more, stirred in the butter some before it was spooned on top of the fish
  • the bass was accompanied by a salsa, prepared about 30 minutes in advance, of halved cherry tomatoes from Lower Hayfields, a friend’s garden in Garrison, up the Hudson, pitted and chopped black oil-cured olives from Whole Foods, fresh dill from Willow Wisp Farm, chopped, basil from Gotham Greens at Whole Foods, torn, one small red Calabrian pepper from Campo Rosso Farm, salt, pepper and olive oil
  • curly kale, again from Lower Hayfields, wilted in a little olive oil in which several bruised organic garlic cloves from Willow Wisp Farm had first been heated or ‘sweated’ in the oil, seasoned with salt and pepper, and drizzled, once on the plates, with olive oil
  • the wine was a California (Lodi) white, David Akiyoshi Reserve Chardonnay 2015
  • the music was from the album, ‘Adams, Cox, Fink, Fox‘, music of John Luther Adams, Rick Cox, Michael Jon Fink, and Jim Fox