sole, lemon, capers, sorrel; sweet peppers; potatoes, fennel

The best sole I’ve ever prepared. Did it start with the size of the fillet?  It was thicker than any I remember ever having cooked, and I mostly followed a recipe I hadn’t worked with before.

But it was also very fresh.

Was the entrée Italian or French?

I originally thought I would accompany it by pan-roasting some small okra, mostly because I had some inside the refrigerator, but Barry pushed for buttered boiled potatoes, as more sympathetic to this recipe, and I knew I had on hand some of the very best, sitting inside a covered basket waiting to be summoned.

There was another vegetable, a newly-bred sweet pepper, and its introduction to the mix meant that the meal’s cultural roots couldn’t be described as anything other than ‘New York City in the teens’.

  • a portion of a thick lemon sole from Pure Vida Seafood (13 ounces), divided into 2 pieces, salted, coated with North Country Farms Stone Ground Whole Wheat Flour and set aside while 6 thin slices of an organic lemon from Trader Joe’s Market were placed in more than a tablespoon of melted butter inside a large heavy tin-lined oval copper pan over medium heat and cooked until the lemon had slightly browned, or about 2 minutes (it may be necessary to add more butter, or a bit of olive oil), when they were pushed to the side of the pan the 2 pieces of sole added, turned once, and cooked until done, or until the flesh was no longer translucent (a little more than 2 minutes per side), 2 more tablespoons of butter and more than a teaspoon of  salted Sicilian capers, ,thoroughly rinsed, added to the skillet, which was then removed from the heat and tilted to swirl the butter until it melted, the sole and lemon arranged on individual plates, the capers, butter, and juices spooned  over the top, micro sorrel from Two Guys from Woodbridge arranged as a garnish
  • German Butterball potatoes from Berried Treasures, Farm, scrubbed, boiled unpeeled in salted water until barely cooked through, drained, dried in the large still-warm vintage Corning Pyrex Flameware blue-glass pot in which they had cooked, a couple tablespoons of rich Organic Valley ‘Cultured Pasture Butter’ [with 12 grams of fat per 14 grams, for each tablespoon of butter; American butter almost always has only 11grams, which makes a surprising difference in taste and texture], the potatoes seasoned with sea salt and black pepper and arranged on the plates, where they were sprinkled with micro fennel from Windfall Farms
  • two small ‘mad hatter’ peppers from Homesweet Homegrown in the Union Square Greenmarket, deconstructed by being sliced thinly, producing star-like shapes, sautéed until softened in a little olive oil inside a small tin-lined copper pan, seasoned with sea salt and black pepper, garnished on the plates with a little chopped fennel frond from a fennel bulb from Hawthorne Valley Farm

There was a cheese course, not pictured, which included a terrific bread.

  • three different cow cheeses, all from Consider Bardwell Farm: ‘Pawlet’, ‘Rupert’, and ‘Bardem Blue – Reconsidered’
  • slices of a ciabatta (with local unbleached wheat flours) from Bread Alone