tautog, tomato water, olives, herbs; grilled scapes; tomato

After a week away, yesterday was my first day back at the Greenmarket and last night my return to actually cooking from the ground up, but parts of this meal is actually composed of ingredients I had assembled sometime before our little long weekend.

The ‘tomato water‘ I used on the fish was processed from the tomatoes I wrote about in a post describing the meal the night before, and the garlic scapes had survived in the crisper for fully 3 weeks, in excellent shape, with nothing but some drying stringy tips to show for their wait.

The tomato water was an interesting diversion that began hours before I actually started cooking.

  • two 8-ounce filets of tautog, or blackfish, from American Seafood Company [prepared following a recipe by Melissa Clark published in the New York Times 4 years ago, substituting a mix of excellent cayenne pepper and a dulce paprika for the Aleppo pepper she had indicated (Syrian trade being tragically interrupted these years), and adding a large pinch of dried habanada pepper to the tomatoes as they dripped through the cloth-lined antique tin colander], seasoned, seared, cooked with halved Gaeta olives from Buon Italia, and drizzled with ‘tomato water’ prepared earlier in the day, for which I used 2 very ripe tomatoes from Alex’s Tomato Farm, rosemary from Phillips Farm, and several pieces of habanada pepper that I had dried last fall from some of the brilliant fresh crop grown by Norwich Meadows Farm, the filets finished with a bit of torn Gotham Greens Rooftop local basil from Whole Foods, and peppermint from Stokes Farm

  • garlic scapes from Keith’s Farm, trimmed at either end, tossed in olive oil, salt, and pepper, then pan grilled, finished with a dusting of zest from an organic Whole Foods Market lemon