skate wing, ramps, lemon, lovage, parsley; rainbow chard

I think this may have been the first time I’ve been able to combine 2 wild favorites of ours, skate wings from local waters and New York (Delaware County) ramps, in a single dish.


Oh, and the polenta flour coating on the skates was also local (Clinton Corners).

I already had the ramps (they can be kept for a surprising number of days if carefully packaged in an unsealed plastic bag in the refrigerator with the bulbs wrapped in a damp paper towel).

While still in the Greenmarket on Monday, I decided rainbow chard would make a good compliment to the skate with the ramps, for its trace of sweetness, and slight bitterness, and for the color it would add to the plate.

The red amaranth with the skate? I took a chance by adding a few sprigs, risking overkill, but it worked out fine.

And that color!

  • four 4-ounce skate wings from P.E. & D.D. Seafood, coated all over with a local coarse polenta (‘Stone-Ground Polenta’ from Wild Hive Farm Community Grain Project) seasoned with salt and pepper, sautéed in olive oil and a bit of butter for 3 minutes or so on each side inside a heavy enameled cast iron oven pan (the only difficult part of this recipe is turning them over without breaking them up), removed to the plates and kept warm while about 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter and half a dozen ramps (leaves removed), sliced a bit, from Berried Treasures, were introduced into the pan and stirred over a now-lowered flame, only to allow the alliums to sweat a bit before the heat was turned off altogether and another 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter added to the pan along with the juice from half of a local sweet lemon from Fantastic Gardens of Long Island, some chopped lovage from Windfall Farms and a bit of chopped parsley from Lani’s Farm, and half a dozen of the ramp leaves which had been set aside, roughly chopped, everything stirred for a bit to blend together and make a proper sauce to be divided among the four wings, which were garnished with a scattering of ‘micro red amaranth from Windfall Farms
  • a bunch of rainbow chard from Norwich Meadows Farm, wilted in a little olive oil in which 2 halved garlic cloves from Lucky Dog Organic Farm had been heated, along with a small amount of crushed dried Sicilian pepperoncino from Buon Italia, finished with a squeeze of juice from the same local lemon used on the skate
  • the wine was a California (Sonoma) white, Jacqueline Bahue Carte Blanche Sauvignon Blanc Sonoma Valley 2016, from Naked Wines
  • the music was Franz Schmidt, Symphonies No. 1 and 2,  Neeme Järvi conducting, respectively, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra