marinated, breaded, swordfish; grilled tomatoes; rapini

It all tasted as good as it looks.

The swordfish had been very well cared for, and could not have tasted more fresh, regardless of how far the boat had swum since landing it somewhere south of Long Island.

The tomatoes were grown indoors in Maine, in late winter, early spring, but, as usual, they tasted like they had been outside in the summer.

The greens were described by the local farmer as “overwintered”; they could not have been more tender or tasted any sweeter

  • one thick 13.5-ounce swordfish steak from American Seafood Company in the Union Square Greenmarket, taken from Scott Rucky’s fishing vessel, ‘Dakota’, halved (I’m getting really good at that), marinated for more than half an hour in a mixture of olive oil, a tablespoon of fresh oregano from Stokes Farm, a small amount of crushed dried peperoncino Calabresi secchi from Buon Italia, and a chopped section of a Japanese scallion from Norwich Meadows Farm, drained well, covered on both sides with a coating of homemade dried breadcrumbs, pan-grilled over medium-high heat for 4 or 5 minutes on each side, or until barely fully cooked all of the way through, removed, seasoned with a little sea salt, a bit of juice from a Whole Foods Market organic lemon squeezed on top, drizzled with a little olive oil and garnished with micro bronze fennel from Two Guys from Woodbridge
  • three Backyard Farms Maine ‘cocktail tomatoes’ from Whole Foods Market, halved, sprinkled with a small amount of sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, briefly placed inside the grill pan just as the swordfish were finishing, arranged on the plates and garnished with chopped thyme from Eataly
  • small clusters of overwintered broccoli rabe” (aka rapini) from Lani’s Farm, wilted in olive oil flavored with one small whole dried peperoncino Calabresi secchi from Buon Italia and 2 Rocambole garlic cloves from Keith’s Farm which had been bruised and heated until beginning to color, then seasoned with salt and pepper, divided onto the plates and drizzled with more olive oil
  • the wine was an Italian (Sicily) white, Catarratto ‘Vigna del Masso’ Feudo Montoni 2016, from Astor Wines  
  • the music was Luigi/Louis Cherubini’s 1791 comédie héroïque, ‘Lodoiska’, Jérémie Rhorer conducting Le Cercle de l’Harmonie and Les Elements Chamber Choir [the composer‘s story and that of the opera are both fascinating: particularly in an era when the world is once again being turned upside down: Cherubini survived, and prospered from the time he was taken up by the Bourbon court in the late 1780s (yeah) as an emigrant, through the Revolution, the Directorate, the Empire, the Restoration, and the July Revolution; the opera premiered 26 days after the royal family, some of whom were his most important patrons, was arrested and escorted back to Paris from Varennes (the theater, until that month named Théâtre de Monsieur, for the king’s brother, was renamed Théâtre Feydeau after the arrest); the best part of the Wikipedia entry: “In a spectacular scene that helped to make the opera a hit in Paris, one of the castle walls is blown up, then crumbles to reveal the battlefield outside.”]