4-spice wild salmon; habanada-roasted squash; cabbage

It seemed like it should be a Union Square Greenmarket day, but then I remembered that it was a Tuesday, and so it was not. While tossing about the possibilities for picking up something within our immediate area that would be other than meat, I suddenly remembered there was a pretty good source for wild salmon only a couple hundred feet from our door, and sometimes it’s on sale.

I already had some vegetables that would be really good accompaniments for salmon, so Tuesday’s dinner was taken care of.

  • one fresh (unfrozen ) 8-ounce wild Coho salmon fillet from Whole Foods Market, the skin left on, seasoned on both sides with sea salt and freshly-ground Tellicherry pepper, the flesh side pressed with a mixture of ground coriander seeds, ground cloves, ground cumin, and grated nutmeg, sautéed inside an enameled, cast iron oval pan, flesh side down first, over medium-high heat for 3 minutes or so, turned over and cooked 3 or 4 minutes minutes more, finished on the plate with a little squeeze of organic lemon from Whole Foods Market and a drizzle of a good olive oil
  • one 6-inch sugar dumpling squash from Tamarack Hollow Farm, scrubbed, halved horizontally, the seeds removed, divided into one-inch wedges, tossed lightly with olive oil, sea salt, freshly-ground black pepper, and one section of a golden dried habanada pepper, then arranged on a large, unglazed, well-seasoned ceramic Pampered Chef pan and roasted on one side at 450ª for 15 minutes, turned onto the other side and allowed to roast for 15 more minutes, removed from the oven, and the pan, once softened inside and the edges of the skin slightly carbonized and crunchy, and stirred inside a sauté pan in which 2 cloves of Keith’s Farm Rocambole garlic had been gently heated in a bit of olive oil along with some roughly-chopped sage, also from Keith’s Farm
  • two kinds of Savoy-type cabbage, one described as simply ‘Savoy’ from Norwich Meadows Farm, and a San Michelle from Tamarack Hollow Farm, each of which had remained from a head that had contributed to a different earlier meal, roughly sliced, added to a little olive oil inside a large, heavy, tin-lined copper pot already above a medium high flame, joining one halved Rocambole garlic clove from Keith’s Farm that had already been heated, over a lower flame, until fragrant, the cabbage sautéed, stirring, along with 4 flattened juniper berries, until the leaves were tender and had begun to brown and become (ideally) slightly crisp at the edges, seasoned with sea salt, freshly-ground black pepper, and a few drops of balsamic vinegar added and stirred over the heat for a moment, arranged on the plates with a drizzle of olive oil

There was a small cheese course, mostly because we still had some good wine in our glasses, and I had good rustic bread for toasts, but also because I remembered that we had already been keeping a favorite soft cheese far longer than I could have thought would be good for it.  It turned out the cheese was in excellent condition, and if it was any different from what it had tasted like when fresh, I would say it might even have been for the better.

  • a bit of a very well made chevre from Ardith Mae Farmstead, purchased weeks earlier, served with a pinch of fenugreek and a dusting of freshly-cracked black pepper
  • thin toasts of a loaf of ‘rustic classic’ from Eataly