pollock, ramps, lemon, capers; cucumber, fennel, tomato

Pollock is another fish that deserves far more respect than it gets, even these days, and even on its home shores.

  • one pollock fillet (18.25 oz) from American Seafood Company in Chelsea’s Down to Earth Farmers Market, rinsed, dried, cut into 2 sections, seasoned on both sides with sea salt and freshly-ground Tellicherry pepper, placed inside a buttered tin-lined copper oval baking dish, spread with 2 tablespoons or so of softened Organic Valley ‘Cultured Pasture Butter’ that had been mixed with zest from half of an organic lemon from Whole Foods Market, 3 sliced ramp bulbs from Berried Treasures, and a large pinch of crushed golden/orange home-dried Habanada pepper from Norwich Meadows Farm (acquired fresh last season), baked at 350º for about 20 minutes, or maybe a little more, because they were thick, removed to 2 plates, spread with the cooking juices (of course the amount of juice will depend on the amount of butter used) and sprinkled with a small number of salted capers along with the tiny bit of olive oil in which they had earlier been heated briefly after being rinsed, drained, and dried, the pollock finished with a garnish of small (almost micro) nasturtium leaves from Two Guys from Woodbridge
  • half a dozen cucumbers of 2 different kinds from Norwich Meadows Farm (I was unable to learn the names of these varieties), halved crosswise, then quartered lengthwise,  dried, sautéed inside a large cast iron pan in a little olive oil over a fairly high flame until they began to color, and then joined by spring shallots from Alewife Farm and some sliced fennel stems, remaining from 2 baby fennel bulbs from Central Valley Farm that had been incorporated into an earlier meal, everything sautéed until beginning to caramelize, when sea salt and freshly-ground Tellicherry pepper were added, and then a large handful of golden cherry tomatoes from Windfall Farms, which were rolled around with the rest of the vegetables until warmed through but still whole, served on the plates sprinkled with some chopped fennel fronds, garnished with Genovese basil from Windfall Farms, and drizzled with olive oil
  • the wine was a California (Lodi) white, David Akiyoshi Chardonnay Lodi 2016, from Naked Wines
  • the music was the album of Thomas Adès’ music, ‘Adès: Tevot, Violin Concerto, Couperin Dances’, Simon Rattle, Thomas Adès, and Paul Daniel variously, conducting the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, and the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain