pollock, allium, zest, habanada, sorrel; tomato; romanesco



This time I strayed so far from the urtext of a recipe, one which I have used many times before, that I won’t even go into its antecedents.

I’ll only introduce the ingredients.

It’s a mystery to me why pollock is always so modestly priced at the fish market, because it really is a great fish, with excellent flavor and wonderful texture, and it’s really easy to prepare. It’s also amenable to any number of creative treatments, although I’d recommend not getting too fancy, or its very real virtues might end up hidden.

The other mystery is the phenomenal shape of Romanesco broccoli, normally unnaturally geometric, but this time, in parts, almost diabolically contorted, and also two-toned!

  • two 8-ounce pollock fillets from Pura Vida Seafood, dried, seasoned on both sides with salt and pepper, placed in a buttered copper au gratin pan, spread over the top with a mixture of soft butter, lemon zest, and some chopped red scallions from S. & S.O. Produce Farms [almost any other mild allium could be substituted], and one finely-chopped habanada pepper from Norwich Meadows Farm, baked 12 to 15 minutes at 350º, removed to 2 plates, some micro red sorrel from Two Gus from Woodbridge briefly stirred into the pan juices, which were drizzled on top of the fillets, the dish finished with some more (fresh) micro sorrel
  • fourteen sun gold tomatoes, from 2 different growers, Ryder Farm and Stokes Farm, heated with a little olive oil inside a small Pyrex glass pan until they had begun to soften, then seasoned with salt and pepper and added to the au gratin pan after the pollock had been removed, but before the sorrel had been added
  • one magnificent Romanesco broccoli head from Berried Treasures, broken up into florets, tossed with a little olive oil (not too much, to guarantee a slightly crispy, slightly carbonized side dish), salt, pepper, and part of a seeded medium-hot red cherry pepper from Oak Grove Plantation, finely chopped, the mix spread onto one of my several Pampered Chef unglazed ceramic pans and roasted at 400º for about 25 minutes [it was necessary to juggle the fish and the vegetable inside the oven on account of the different oven temperatures required], removed from the oven, stirred, and served
  • the wine was a California (Napa) white, Matt Iaconis Chardonnay Napa Valley 2015
  • the music was Vivaldi’s ‘Armida’, Rinaldo Alessandrini directing Concerto Italiano