breaded mint/chili/leek-marinated swordfish; kalette chips

This swordfish dish has become very familiar on this site, except that last night the fresh herb was mint rather than the usual oregano, and the micro ‘greens’ which finished it were chard, which may never have made an appearance here.

The vegetable was almost totally new to our table: Ten months ago I had served Kale sprouts (the proprietary name is ‘Kalettes’©), a hybrid of kale and Brussels sprouts which grows on stalks like Brussels sprouts. Last April I had treated them as I would almost any greens, wilted with garlic in olive oil. This time I popped them in the oven, and, voila! puffs of kale chips!

When they came out of the oven they looked like Brussels sprouts that had exploded, like popcorn. They tasted like their botanical heritage: a mix of Brussels sprouts and kale. The texture was that of kale chips, which is to say, sensational! We ate them with our fingers (they were impossibly delicate).  Addictively crunchy, but, Unlike kale chips, each sprout finished with a little chewy bit in the center.

  • one swordfish steak from the Seatuck Fish Company stall in the Union Square Greenmarket, purchased direct from the owner, fisherman Rob Williams, cut into 2 pieces, marinated for about half an hour in a mixture of olive oil, chopped fresh mint from Eataly, a pinch or 2 of golden home-dried habanada pepper (the fresh peppers acquired fresh last season from Norwich meadows Farm) a tiny bit of crushed dried Sicilian pepperoncino from Buon Italia, and a small amount of a thinly-sliced baby leek from Lucky Dog Organic Farm, drained well and covered with a coating of dried homemade bread crumbs, pan-grilled above a fairly high flame for about 3-4 minutes on each side, removed, seasoned with salt and pepper, removed to the plates, scattered with a little of the freshly-cut green part of the leek used in the marinade, sprinkled with a little local lemon juice from Fantastic Gardens of Long Island, scattered with some micro chard from Two Guys from Woodbridge, and drizzled with olive oil
  • a couple handfuls of kale sprouts, a hybrid of kale and brussels sprouts, from Northshire Farm, stems trimmed, the sprouts washed, dried as well as was convenient, tossed in a bowl with a bit of olive oil (little more than a tablespoon), some Maldon salt, and a bit of freshly-ground Tellicherry pepper, spread onto a large Pampered Chef unglazed ceramic pan, baked for 10 or 15  minutes at 450º to 475º, or until the aromas arising suggested they were done
  • the wine was a Spanish (Rueda) white, Naia D.O. Rueda 2014, from Verdejo old vines
  • the music was Philip Glass’s 3rd and 5th string quartets, performed by the Smith String Quartet