I had intended to serve these tender young squid with some terrific-looking celtuce I had brought home from the Union Square Greenmarket, but I got carried away writing about dinner the day before, took too much time at the task, and ended up without enough time for its preparation.
For vegetables otherwise I knew I had some cucumbers, but there were only 3, and they were very small. I did have plenty of small tomatoes, but since they were likely to overwhelm the cucumbers, I decided to ration the amount, and I took this opportunity to improvise further, and that’s exactly what I did.
I found a sweet allium, then 2 different kinds of fresh greens, and I knew I was set.
The cephalopods were as delicious as usual, and the improvised vegetable was awesome.
- a large rectangular enameled cast iron pan heated on top of the stove until quite hot, its cooking surface brushed with olive oil, and once the oil was also quite hot, just under one pound of rinsed and carefully dried squid from Blue Moon Fish Company, bodies and tentacles, quickly arranged inside, immediately sprinkled with some super-pungent dried Sicilian oregano from Buon Italia, part of one dried Sicilian pepperoncino, also from Buon Italia, some sea salt, and a bit of freshly-ground Tellicherry pepper, followed by a drizzle of a few tablespoons of juice from an organic lemon which had come from Whole Foods Market, and some olive oil, the pan placed inside a pre-heated 400º oven and roasted for only 5 minutes, then removed, the squid distributed onto 2 plates, ladled with a bit of their cooking juices, which had been transferred into a sauce pitcher
- the vegetable mix began with sautéing 4 halved sweet spring red onions from Alewife Farm until they had softened and begun to brown, followed by the chopped segments of 3 small cucumbers from Norwich Meadows Farm, also cooked until they had begun to brown, finished with 8 orange-red cherry tomatoes from Neversink Organic Farm, punctured to control their bursting once on the plates, heated until just beginning to soften, the mix arranged on the plates on top of a dressed spray made up of a few leaves of purple lettuce from Norwich Meadows Farm and arugula from Stokes Farm
- the wine was an Italian (Tuscany) white, Teruzzi & Puthod Terre di Tufi 2014, which we believe came from our local spirits shop, from Philippe Liquors
- the music was Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 4, from a recording of Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducting the Chamber Orchestra of Europe