crab cakes on a tomato salsa; baby red cress; grilled leeks

I wasn’t able to get to the Union Square Greenmarket yesterday, so I defrosted a package of the fishmonger’s excellent crab cakes I keep for just such occasions, and I happened to have one fresh green[mosty] vegetable on hand as well.

  • two crab cakes from P.E. & D.D. Seafood (crab, egg, flour, red & green peppers, garlic, salt, pepper, breadcrumbs, mayonnaise, milk, celery, and parsley), in Riverhead made by Dolores Karlin, the wife of Carl Karlin, the fisherman himself, defrosted the night before, brought to room temperature and heated up on a small drizzle of olive oil inside a small, heavy vintage, well-seasoned cast iron pan, 3 to 4 minutes to each side, served on a salsa composed of 5 Backyard Farms Maine ‘cocktail tomatoes’ from Chelsea Whole Foods that had been quartered then combined with a tablespoon or so of olive oil, sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, a bit of dried dried red espelette pepper (not too hot, but that’s a arguable description when comes to peppers) from Alewife Farm, much of one small celery stalk and most of one thick scallion, both from from Phillips Farms
  • baby red watercress from Two Guys from Woodbridge
  • four leeks of various sizes from Phillips Farms, trimmed of their darkest green tops, the larger ones cut in half lengthwise, the smaller kept whole but cut half way down from the top in order to be washed vigorously in cold water, removing any earth (carefully holding the white ends together to keep them from falling apart), dried, rolled in a little olive oil, sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, and a tiny bit of light-colored dried golden habanada pepper, pan-grilled over a medium-hot flame for a few minutes (10 or 12?), turning until all sides had been scored with grill marks and the leeks softened all the way through, arranged on the plates and sprinkled with chopped parsley from Trader Joe’s
  • the wine was a Spanish (Valencia) white, Celler del Roure ‘Cullerot’ Blanco 2017, from Astor Wines
  • the music was a Pentatone recording of Wagner’s ‘Der Fliegender Holländer’Marek Janowski conducting the Radio Symphony Orchestra Berlin and the Rundfunkchor Berlin, with Matti Salminen, Ricarda Merbeth, Robert Dean Smith, Silvia Hablowetz, Steve Davislim, and Albert Dohmen