tautog, olives, tomatoes, herb; boiled new potatoes, agretti

If the fish itself looks a little different than it did the last time I cooked it this same way (it seems ‘peppered’ with dark red spots), I’m thinking the difference is that I actually had Aleppo pepper this time (Morton & Bassett dried, from Westside Market), while I’d always had to use a substitute of some balance of fine cayenne pepper and a dulce paprika.

The potatoes we had are a rarity, I think, or at least they are to me, a combination of Adirondack blue and red ‘new potatoes’ [new potatoes, are immature potatoes that have been harvested by pulling out the young tubers by hand, leaving the plant itself in place]. The colors are not dramatically different, especially once cooked, but what difference they exhibit does make for some extra subtle interest, especially with a green garnish.

Before deciding on the vegetable, I had briefly thought of using the agretti I had in the refrigerator, so it made sense to me to use a small amount of this interesting saltwort as a garnish for the tubers.

  • two blackfish (tautog) fillets (17 ounces total) from Pura Vida Fisheries [prepared mostly following a recipe by Melissa Clark published in the New York Times almost 7 years ago, placed in a large heavy oval copper skillet over a medium-low flame, a quarter cup of pitted kalamata olives from Chelsea Whole Foods scattered around the fish, cooked for about 4 minutes, flipped and cooked for another 4 minutes, then, near the end of that time, roughly 10 ounces of quartered Backyard Farms Maine ‘cocktail tomatoes’, also from Whole Foods, were tossed into the pan, moved around a bit and allowed to break down, the fish and the olives transferred to 2 plates when done, the tomatoes spooned around the fillets, everything sprinkled with a torn mild furry spearmint from Space on Ryder Farm and fresh torn basil from a plant I had bought, I think, from Central Valley Farm in the Greenmarket