artichokes, chervil cream; mackerel, tomato salsa; squash

There’s no real connection between the first and second courses of this meal, other than the fact that the first directly preceded the second, and the second directly succeeded the first.

The appetizer was merely assembled.

  • a container of grilled artichokes with mint leaves and oil, from Eataly, divided onto 2 plates, served with a modified mayonnaise which started with Sir Kensington’s, plain, Classic Mayonnaise (made by ex-Brown students, with headquarters in SoHo), to which I added half that amount of Sir Kensington’s Dijon Mustard, a bit of juice from a Whole Foods Market organic lemon, a pinch of turbinado sugar, a very small amount of finely-chopped Rocambole garlic from Keith’s Farm, a bit of chopped micro chervil from Two Guys from Woodbridge, and a pinch of Maldon salt, garnished with some more, still whole, micro chervil
  • slices of a sesame baguette from Bread Alone Bakery

The main course actually had to be cooked.

  • two 9-ounce Spanish mackerel filets from Pura Vida Seafood, washed, dried, brushed with olive oil, seasoned with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, pan grilled on a seasoned cast iron double-burner grill pan over high heat for a total of about 6 or 7 minutes, first skin side down, then turned half way through, removed, arranged on the plates and dressed with a salsa that had been assembled just before, consisting of 7 ounces of a mix of (mostly) heirloom tomatoes from several local farms, chopped roughly or halved, tossed into a small bowl with a teaspoon or more of rinsed and drained Sicilian salted capers, half a tablespoon of juice from a Whole Foods Market organic lemon, a pinch of sea salt, and a bit of freshly-ground black pepper, the salsa garnished with some pungent basil buds from Windfall Farms
  • two crookneck yellow summer squash from Windfall Farms, cut into 2-cm rounds, sautéed in a little olive oil for a few minutes over a medium-high flame inside a large antique high-sided heavy copper pot, turning once, until both sides were well on their way to being caramelized, near the end of that time part of a length of a stem of fresh shallot from Tamarack Hollow Farm, cut into one-cm sections, was added and stirred into the squash sections until softened, the pan removed from the flame, seasoned with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, the vegetables placed inside a bowl where the they were tossed with a few pitted kalamata olives, one small finely-chopped red aji dulce pepper from Eckerton Hill Farm, a little lemon juice, and chopped ‘blue licorice’ (aka Korean mint, or Indian mint) from Lani’s Farm
  • the wine was a New York (Long Island) rosé, Wölffer Estate Rosé 2017
  • the music was Lully’s 1683 tragédie en musique, ‘Phaéton’, Christophe Rousset conducting Les Talens Lyriques and the Chœur de Chambre de Namur