polenta-coated skate, ramps, lemon, herbs; rainbow chard

It was a something of a palate cleanser after our rich night at the opera the day before.

  • seven small skate wings (14 ounces) from P.E. & D.D., the largest of them halved to even out their number,  coated all over with a local coarse polenta (‘Stone-Ground Polenta’ from Wild Hive Farm Community Grain Project) that had been seasoned with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, sautéed in olive oil and a bit of butter, for a couple of minutes or so on each side, inside a heavy enameled cast iron oven pan, then removed to 2 plates and kept warm while a little more than a tablespoons of butter was added to the pan, along with the chopped bulbs and sliced leaves of half an ounce or so of young ramps from Lucky Dog Organic Farm, stirred over a now-lowered flame, the alliums allowed to only sweat a bit before the heat was turned off altogether and another 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter added, along with the juice from half of a Whole Foods Market organic lemon, some chopped lovage from Two Guys from Woodbridge, and a bit of chopped parsley from Stokes Farm, all stirred to blend together and make a proper sauce to be divided among the ‘wings’
  • slices of a Bien Cuit ‘Campagne’ traditional sourdough from Foragers Market
  • one bunch of rainbow chard from Norwich Meadows Farm, wilted in a couple tablespoons of Portuguese olive oil from Whole Foods Market in which 2 small Rocambole garlic cloves from Keith’s Farm had first been heated and slightly softened, seasoned with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, finished with a little lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil
  • the wine was an Austrian (Burgenland) white, Furmint, Wenzel 2015, from Astor Wines
  • the music was Hans Werner Henze, 1974 masterpiece, ‘Tristan‘, an orchestral work composed, for pianotape and full orchestra, a homage to Wagner’s ‘Tristan und Isolde‘, performed by Homero Francesch, the Kölner Rundfunk Sinfonie Orchester, Hans Werner Henze conducting [it can be heard here in another performance]