flounder with oyster mushrooms, ramps, espelette; chard

The flounder fillets were beautiful; Warren had just fetched a fresh ‘bucket’ from the truck, and opened it in front of at least one very appreciative customer.

They were a little larger than I might have been able to handle in the kitchen before, but I had recently acquired a beautiful new pan that would help me to do them justice. I also had a generous amount of fresh mushrooms at home, and I knew I wouldn’t have trouble finding a wonderful green vegetable to accompany the entrée, before I left the market.

  • two very fresh flounder fillets (a total of 19 ounces) from American Seafood Company, seasoned on both sides with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, sautéed fairly gently in a couple tablespoons of butter inside a large (13-inch), thick-walled antique tin-lined copper pan, flesh side first, turned after around 2 minutes, maybe slightly more, and the other side cooked for about the same length of time, removed and arranged on 2 plates, either covered, to keep warm, or, if it’s convenient to do so, placed inside a barely-warm oven, the heat under the pan kept low, another tablespoon – or better, 2, maybe 3 – of butter added, and when it had melted about 6 ounces of roughly-chopped yellow oyster mushrooms from Gail’s Farm in Vineland, New Jersey tossed into the pan and sautéed, stirring, until lightly cooked, the mushrooms seasoned with sea salt, freshly-ground black pepper, and a pinch or so of crushed dried Espelette pepper (only a medium heat) from Alewife Farm and 4 small thin ramps from Eataly Flatiron (I spotted them there and decided impulsively that I couldn’t wait for them to arrive in the Greenmarket), the bulbs chopped, the leaves sliced, plus a little more than a tablespoon of juice from a local Persian lime [yup, local], the gift of David Tifford of Fantastic Gardens of Long Island, added to the pan, everything briefly stirred with a wooden spatula, the mushrooms and their juices spooned on or around the flounder [the dish may need more butter along the way, so at least be aware]

There was also some brilliant rainbow chard,

from the folks upstate at Fledging Crow Farm:

  • a modest-sized bouquet of rainbow chard from a farm new to the Union Square Greenmarket that very day, Fledging Crow Vegetables, (with a fascinating origin story), wilted inside a a large antique high-sided copper pot in a tablespoon or so of olive oil in which one garlic clove from Norwich Meadows Farm had first been heated and softened slightly, seasoned with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, finished with a little lemon juice and a tiny drizzle of olive oil

About the music, which we really enjoyed, I’ll wager that, in the end, it will be recorded that F. Murray Abraham and Milos Forman were the ones who totally made Antonio Salieri’s posthumous career.


[image of the people of Fledging Crow Vegetables from thegoodfoodcollective.com]