spicy tautog with sage, olives, lemon; micro beet; cardoons


Most of these things are some of my favorite things. I’m familiar with the fish, the olives, the peppers, the seasonings, the herbs, the lemon, and the micro beets, but before yesterday I had never touched a cardoon stalk. Now I can imagine Cynara cardunculus ending up joining them.

I’ll be looking for this uncommon Mediterranean vegetable on my next visits to the Greenmarket, since I’ve now assembled a small library of recipes I’d like to try out.


For several years I’ve been enjoying local citrus fruit from David Tifford’s greenhouse at Fantastic Gardens of Long Island, but I don’t think I’ve ever published an image of them; this is what the modest display looked like on Friday at the Union Square Greenmarket.


  • two 7 1/2-ounce Tautog or Blackfish fillets, prepared mostly as described in this recipe by Melissa Clark, but substituting cayenne pepper and Spanish paprika (dolce) for the Aleppo Syrian red pepper it specified. I also used Gaeta olives rather than the kalamata Clark mentioned, and I added one chopped habanada pepper when I was adding the olives; the fish was from Pura Vida Fisheries, the fresh sage was from Phillips Farm, the olives from Buon Italia, the juice from local lemons (2 kinds) from David at Fantastic Gardens of Long Island, the ‘Bull’s Blood micro beet’ from Windfall Farm (this time I placed it at the side of the plate rather than on top of the fish)
  • one stalk of cardoons from Norwich Meadows Farm, prepared mostly in the manner described on this site, drained after they had been parboiled, cold water over them, drained again and dried on paper towels, seasoned with sea salt and freshly-crushed black pepper, brushed on both sides with a little olive oil, and arranged on a medium unglazed seasoned ceramic oven pan (Pampered Chef), placed in a 425º oven for about half an hour, sprinkling with 3 chopped small scallions from Norwich Meadows Farm near the end of their cooking, removed when they had begun to caramelize [I had used too much olive oil which inhibited their ability to do so), served with a sprinkling of chopped parsley, also from Norwich Meadows Farm