grilled Spanish mackerel, tomato salsa; Japanese turnips

I looked for mackerel when I arrived at the fishmonger’s on Wednesday, since I was hoping to introduce some to the cherry tomatoes I’d been husbanding in our kitchen.

I had bought the tomatoes one week earlier, when they were less red, less ripe, less sweet, and I had kept them on a north window sill until they were perfect.

Here’e what they looked like while in the Union Square Greenmarket, still looking more orange than red.

The turnips, which I had purchased the same day I cooked them, were already very sweet. Turnips may not have been the perfect complement for this fish, but it was an interesting conversation.

  • fifteen ounces of Spanish mackerel (4 fillets) from Blue Moon Fish, washed, dried, brushed lightly with olive oil and seasoned with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, pan grilled over high heat for 6 or 7 minutes, first skin side down, turned half way through, removed and arranged on the plates with a salsa consisting of 8 ounces or so of gorgeous, perfectly ripe cherry tomatoes from Stokes Farm, halved, that had been tossed with 3 teaspoons of olive oil, a little more than a teaspoon of Sicilian salted capers (first rinsed and drained), half a tablespoon of juice from a Trader Joe’s organic lemon, sea salt, freshly-ground black pepper, and some chopped oregano from Keith’s Farm, garnished with a little more oregano
  • a handful of Hakurei turnips (or ‘ Japanese turnips’) from Willow Wisp Farm, separated from their beautiful greens, leaving a bit of stem on each, scrubbed and  halved vertically, sautéed inside a heavy medium-size tin-lined high-sided copper pan in a little olive oil, in which one thickly-sliced garlic clove from Keith’s Farm had been softened, until the vegetables had begun to color, then removed and set aside while the washed and very roughly cut greens were introduced to the pan and heated until barely wilted, the turnips returned to the pan and everything seasoned with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper
  • the wine was an Italian (Tuscany) rosé, Il Rose di Casanova, Casanova della Spinetta, from Philippe Wines
  • the music was a great classic recording of Mozart’s ‘Le nozze di Figaro’, Georg Solti conducting the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the London Opera Chorus, with Thomas Allen, Kiri Te Kanawa, Lucia Popp, Samuel Ramey, Frederica von Stade, Jane Berbié, Kurt Moll, Robert Tear, Philip Langridge, Yvonne Kenny, and Giorgio Tadeo, with Jeffrey Tate, continuo