shishito; oregano/chili/shallot-rub mako; eggplant, basil

The meal was a bit Spanish, -ish. Or maybe it was just Chelsea Mediterranean. But it was also definitely local.

  • a generous number of large shishito peppers (all were juicy, some were actually sweet, none were fiery, or even suggested fire, and every one was delicious), the gift of a friend, from her garden, ‘Lower Hayfields’, in Garrison, New York
  • slices of 12 grain bread from Bread Alone
  • the music was Bang on a Can’s album, ‘Summer Marathon Mixtape 2018’
  • a 17-ounce mako shark steak from Pura Vida Seafood, the bloodline removed, cut into 2 portions, marinated in a mixture of olive oil, a tablespoon of chopped fresh oregano buds, a small amount of crushed peperoncino Calabresi secchi from Buon Italia, and thin slices of the stem of a fresh bulbous shallot from Tamarack Hollow Farm, allowed to rest for a little more than half an hour, the first 15 minutes in the refrigerator, drained well and covered with a coating of dried homemade bread crumbs, pan-grilled over medium-high heat for 4 to 5 minutes on each side, removed to the plates, seasoned with a little sea salt, drizzled with a little lemon juice, dusted with a pinch of some wonderful Italian wild fennel pollen from Buon Italia, and dsome freshly, very-finely-chopped scallions tossed on the top
  • a bit of wild red cress from Dave Harris at Max Creek Hatchery

  • five small Japanese eggplant from Campo Rosso Farm, each halved lengthwise, brushed all over with a mixture of a little olive oil, 2 finely-chopped medium size rocambole garlic cloves from Keith’s Farm, sea salt, and freshly-ground black pepper, pan-grilled on a cast iron ribbed pan above a brisk flame, turning twice, adding more of the material from the marinade the second time, then arranged on the plates where they were tossed with torn basil leaves off of a plant from Two Guys from Woodbridge and drizzled with a bit of olive oil
  • the music was Mahler’s Symphony No. 1, Marin Alsop conducting the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra