tautog, herb, olive, tomato, chili, micro radish; cauliflower


I think I’m running the risk of being too obsessed with the aesthetics, neglecting the relative simplicity I have always wanted to dominate in these meals.

The fish was wonderful, but after it was served I had to admit to myself (and Barry) that there a little too much going on in the presentation. I sometimes find it hard to ignore adding colorful ingredients like those tomatoes and the purple micro radish when a better decision might be to put them aside for another meal.

I should probably have stopped with the cayenne and paprika dusting, but it’s really hard to shut a sun gold tomato outside of any meal.


  • two 8 or 9-ounce fillets of Tautog (known in New York as ‘Blackfish’), Seatuck Fish Company, in the Union Square Greenmarket, more or less prepared using this recipe by Caroline Rossock, with the exception of heating inside the pan before the fish was added one finely-chopped small orange (heatless) Habanada pepper from Norwich Meadows Farm, and substituting for the sage, a mixture of thyme, rosemary, and marjoram from Stokes Farm plus winter savory from Keith’s Farm, using, specifically, pitted Kalamata olives from Whole Foods, dusting the fillets with a 50/50 mix of an excellent cayenne pepper and a good dulce paprika instead of the Aleppo Pepper, now unobtainable, and finally, halfway through the cooking, throwing into the pan a handful of pricked sun gold tomatoes from Ryder Farm, and finishing the fillets on the plates with some micro purple radish from Two Guys from Woodbridge and a drizzle of olive oil


  • flowerets from a ten-ounce white cauliflower from Norwich Meadows Farms, tossed with olive oil, salt, pepper, and part of a cherry pepper from Oak Grove Plantation, finely-chopped, scattered on an unglazed ceramic oven pan, roasted at the same 425º used for the fish, finished with parsley from Keith’s Farm, chopped, and a drizzle of olive oil
  • the wine was a California (Sonoma) white, ROX Scott Peterson Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2015 from Naked Wines
  • the music was the album, ‘Music of Poul Ruders, Vol. 6‘, from Bridge Records