fluke, mushroom, herb; amaranth; paprika-roasted parsnip

It was definitely winter (the parsnips we enjoyed were purchased from a stand in the greenmarket during a snowstorm), so last night’s meal wasn’t going to look like something from last July.

(the Berkshire Berries table on the afternoon when I bought the parsnips)


But many of the same fish we enjoy in the summer are still around, or around again, even when, because of the extreme cold, our local fishers sometimes can’t get out of the harbor to pull them in. Yesterday I did what I could to bring summer and winter together a bit, with the help of a bridge between the seasons assembled from fresh mushrooms and micro greens.

  • two 8-ounce fluke fillet from American Seafood Company, seasoned on both sides with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, sautéed skin-side down for 3 minutes over a fairly brisk flame with butter and a little olive oil inside a large, thick oval tin-lined copper pan, then turned and the other side cooked for about the same length of time, removed to plates resting on top of the 1934 Magic Chef oven when done (also covered at least a little to keep warm until the sauce was completed), a tablespoon or 2 of butter added to the pan, and 4 ounces or so of oyster mushrooms from Bulich Mushroom Farm, cut into medium-size pieces, added and sautéed, stirring, until lightly cooked, seasoned with salt and pepper, stirred with a couple tablespoons of a mix of chopped parsley from Westside Market on 7th Avenue and lovage from Two Guys from Woodbridge, and a tablespoon or more of the juice of an organic lemon from Whole Foods Market, arranged on the plates along the length of the warm fillets and garnished on the side with micro red amaranth, also from Two Guys from Woodbridge

  • parsnips from Norwich Meadows Farm, scrubbed thoroughly, sliced, mostly into 1/4-to-1/2″ discs, tossed with little more than a tablespoon of olive oil, sea salt, freshly-ground black pepper, a small piece of crushed dried gold/orange habanada pepper, a quarter teaspoon or so of Spanish paprika picante,roasted inside a 425º oven for about 25 minutes, arranged on the plates on the other side of the line of micro amaranth
  • the wine was a California (Lodi) white, Scott Peterson S.P. Drummer Napa Chardonnay 2016, from Naked Wines
  • the music was Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s 1898 opera, ‘The Tsar’s Bride’, with Gergiev and the Kirov Opera, with Liubov Sokolov, Ludmila Kassianenko, Victor Vikhrov, Olga Markova-Mikhailenko, Olga Borodina, Sergei Alexashkin, Irina Loskutova, Nikolai Gassiev, Marina Shaguch, Genadij Bezzubenkov, Evgeny Akimov, Yuri Shkliar, and Dmitri Hvorostovsky