Porgy sautéed with ramps, 4 herbs; red Russian kale, garlic

I continue to experience Porgy (sometimes called Sea Bream) as a great fish. Wow, sounds pompous (like the name, ‘Sea Bream’), but it’s very late at night as I sit leaning over the keyboard.

I’ve now used this basic recipe many times, always changing the lineup of ingredients. On Friday I took advantage of our local ramp season, then I tossed in most of the herbs sitting inside the refrigerator.

Because I had forgotten how long it had been heating, the butter started turning brown almost as soon as I had placed it in the pan. This was not part of the recipe, but, having caught it in time, I decided that I would make it so, at least for once. It was delicious, and the flavors definitely seemed more complex than usual.

There’s a shot of purple in the picture at the top. It was a last minute call, and arrived there because it was purple and I thought a bit of a third color was in order.

But there definitely was enough green, much of it from this very tender kale.

  • four porgy fillets (a total of 20 ounces, more than we usually share) from Pura Vida Fish Company, patted dry, seasoned with sea salt, freshly-ground Tellicherry pepper, placed inside a hot rectangular enameled cast iron pan in 2 1/2 tablespoons of already melted butter, and the white parts of half a dozen ramps, chopped thinly, sprinkled all over the top, sautéed, the alliums and butter occasionally brushed over the fish, for 2 or 3 minutes, the fillets then carefully flipped, the heat reduced to low and the pan covered in tin foil for another 2 minutes, at which time it was uncovered and a mix of chopped herbs (here parsley from Lani’s Farm, lovage from Windfall Farms, oregano and thyme from Stokes Farm, and some roughly chopped ramp leaves) added to it, with the basting continuing for another minute or so, the fillets arranged on 2 plates, garnished with the placement of a bit of micro red radish from Windfall Farms between each of the 2 fillets
  • one large bunch of tender red Russian kale from Windfall Farms, washed, drained, wilted inside a large enameled cast iron pot in a tablespoon or so of olive oil in which 2 bruised and halved Christopher Garlic Ranch garlic from Eataly had first been allowed to sweat and begin to color, the greens seasoned with sea salt, freshly-ground Tellicherry pepper, and arranged on the plates and a little more olive oil drizzled on top
  • the wine was an Italian (Tuscany) white, Fattoria Sardi Vermentino 2015, from Garnet Wines
  • the music was Handel’s 1738 opera, ‘Serse’, performed by William Christie directing Les Arts Florissants and the soloists Anne Sofie von Otter, Sandrine Piau, and Ferruccio Furlanetto