roasted sea bass, herbs, lemon; purple fingerlings; collards

This looks very serious.

It was, but it was neither as difficult as looks, nor as ‘heavy’.

What it was, was delicious.

Scurrying around quickly for an idea for preparing 2 beautiful Black Sea Bass fillets Friday night, I grabbed a printed sheet from my ‘bass’ file, and went with something which I discovered only after the meal was actually a recipe for oven-roasted Striped Bass, not ‘Black Sea Bass’. They are two different fish, Striped Bass being moderately fatty and maybe a little more ‘fishy’ (not a pejorative, for me), so what I did may have been a bit heavy for the more delicate fish.

While I was cooking I wondered why I hadn’t prepared sea bass this way before, but in the end it worked out fine, and, with the vegetables I chose, possibly better than a more minimal treatment would have this time.

The rainbow chard was a gentle enough choice, but I added a little chili pepper to it, which brought it out of the shadows, and the potatoes I chose were pretty serious, and not just for their dark color.

  • two Black Sea Bass fillets from Pura Vida Seafood placed, skin side down inside a glazed ceramic baking pan in which a teaspoon or so of olive oil had been poured, seasoned with salt and pepper, sprinkled with a mix of parsley and sage from Eataly, lovage from Two Guys from Woodbridge, red thyme from Phillips Farm, and a bit of a home-dried heatless, orange/gold Habanada pepper (purchased fresh from Norwich Meadows Farm last fall), the fish topped with a coating of homemade bread crumbs and drizzled with 2 teaspoons of olive oil, transferred to a 425º oven for 8 or 10 minutes, finished on 2 plates with a squeeze of a sweet local lemon from Fantastic Gardens of Long Island and a light drizzle of olive oil
  • ten ounces of ‘Magic Molly‘ purple fingerling potatoes from Mountain Sweet Berry Farm, halved lengthwise, tossed with one small red onion from Norwich Meadows Farm, thinly-sliced, a little olive oil, salt, pepper, and fresh rosemary from Eataly, the potatoes then arranged cut-side down on a large Pampered Chef unglazed ceramic pan, the roasted at about 375º for about 25 minutes, or until cooked through, the cut side beginning to brown (if it’s possible to tell, since the color is already almost black), scattered with micro purple radish from Two Guys from Woodbridge
  • the part that remained from a meal the other night of one bunch of collard greens from Phillips Farm, stripped of most of their stems, torn into small sections, washed several times and drained, transferred to a smaller bowl very quickly, in order to retain as much of the water clinging to them as possible, wilted inside a heavy oval enameled cast iron pot in which 2 halved garlic cloves from from Healthway Farms & CSA had first been allowed to sweat in some olive oil, then finished with salt, pepper, a little crushed dried Sardinian pepperoncino from Buon Italia, 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 Hindemith’s ‘Mathis der Maler’, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Rafael Kubelik, the cast including Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau,  Karl Kreille, Gerd Feldhoff, James King, Urszula Koszut, u.a.