scallops, micro radish; baby zucchini, mint; tomato, lovage

It was a bright, clean, vernal meal, even if the warm humid weather on that penultimate day of spring suggested July or August. Full disclosure: I had the air conditioner going inside the kitchen and breakfast room throughout both the preparation and enjoyment of this meal.

The colorful vegetables I had picked up at two greenmarkets over the previous 3 days set the tone.

  • fourteen medium scallops (13 ounces) from P.E. & D.D. Seafood, washed, drained and very thoroughly dried on paper towels (twice), generously seasoned with salt and pepper, pan grilled for about 90 seconds on each side, finished with a squeeze of organic lemon from Whole Foods Market and a scattering of purple micro radish from Windfall Farms, then drizzled with some good olive oil
  • eight halved medium tomatoes from Alex’s Tomato Farm, Mullica Hill, NJ, purchased Saturday at Chelsea’s Down to Earth Farmers Market, rolled inside a heavy, high-sided tin-lined copper pot with a little olive oil in which much of one head of green garlic from Lani’s Farm had been heated until it had become fragrant, seasoned with sea salt and freshly-ground Tellicherry pepper and some chopped lovage from Keith’s Farm tossed in
  • five baby zucchini from Lani’s Farm, separated from their blossoms (which were set aside), cut lengthwise and sautéed in a heavy, tin-lined copper skillet until beginning to brown, tossed with chopped peppermint from Lani’s Farm, removed to the plates while the blossoms reserved earlier, now halved, were sautéed in the same pan, for only a few seconds, then arranged on top of the zucchini pieces
  • the wine was a California (Lake County) white, Dancing Crow Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc Lake County 2015, from Chelsea Wine Vault
  • the music was Georg Philipp Telemann’s 1726 opera, ‘Orpheus’, René Jacobs conducting the Academy for Ancient Music Berlin and the Berlin RIAS Chamber Chorus; the album liner notes describe the work as “..a successful synthesis of national operatic forms from Italy, France and Germany.”