sautéed grey sole with lemon, cress; roasted carrots; kale

These beautiful grey sole fillets came from Rick Lofstad’s Pura Vida Seafood, whose colorful 55′ fishing vessel, ‘All For Joy’ (which was presumably his flagship), had capsized on the Sunday before I purchased them at the Union Square Greenmarket on Friday.

Earlier today on this blog I wrote about the incident and my huge respect for The Captain, who is something of an area legend, as well as for all the intrepid fishers who bring such treasures from the sea to all of us, from stalls in Union Square and in local markets throughout the larger New York area.

We wish the heroic sea captain our best, and we expect to be enjoying his catch forever, or at least for as long as all of us are still up to working it.

While there was not quite three quarters of a pound of fish, the small size of the fillets meant that they would cover a large area, giving me a chance to again use my new toy, this huge old pan.

  • six 2-ounce grey sole fillets from Pura Vida Seafood, dried thoroughly, salted and brushed with a good white wine vinegar, sautéed briefly in a little olive oil and a bit of of Organic Valley ‘Cultured Pasture Butter’ inside a heavy antique low-sided 13″ copper pan (I needed a large surface for these small fillets),  turning once, then removed to 2 plates, the pan wiped with a paper towel before introducing 2 or 3  tablespoons of butter, 2 tablespoons or so of juice from an organic Whole Foods Market lemon, and some upland cress, at least a handful cut from a live hydroponically-grown plant from Two Guys from Woodbridge, allowed to heat for a minute or so, when the buttery sauce was poured over the sole, lemon quarters served on the side
  • about 16 ounces of ‘mature’ (they had been in the crisper for a while, which may explain why, at the end, they cooked very fast and wrinkled up a bit) Kyoto carrots from Norwich Meadows Farm, scrubbed and dried, tossed inside a bowl with a little olive oil, salt, freshly ground black pepper, more than half of a teaspoon of crushed Italian fennel seed, and a bit of crushed dried habanada pepper, arranged inside a large unglazed ceramic Pampered Chef oven pan, roasted at 400º for about 30 minutes, arranged on the plates and garnished with  micro chervil from Two Guys from Woodbridge
  • a modest amount of really, really sweet purple kale from Norwich Meadows Farm (remaining from a supply that was probably mixed with some from Lani’s Farm), wilted inside a large enameled cast iron pot in which one halved garlic clove from Norwich Meadows had first been allowed to sweat in a little olive oil until pungent, seasoned with salt, pepper, and a drizzle of fresh olive oil
  • the wine was a California (Lodi) white, Evangelos Bagias Lodi Chardonnay 2017, from Naked Wines
  • the music was an album of  Johann Schobert’s quartets, trios, and sonatas, performed by Ensemble 415; little is known of his origins, but his career, and his music, speak for themselves (his demise was something else)