swordfish belly, tomatoes, epazote; cucumber, onion, dill

It’s certainly one of the easiest seafoods to prepare, especially if you decide it isn’t necessary to remove the skin (although the next time I probably will, if only to make the searing more efficient).

Barry suggested swordfish belly when I had I asked him for his preference yesterday, texting him an image of the day’s menu board mounted behind the fish sellers in the Union Square Greenmarket (I don’t get to the market early, so several items had already sold out).

And I had two ripe Sikkim cucumbers, which, it seemed to me, would make an excellent match between south Asia and our New York table.

one 1½-inch-thick, 15-ounce belly steak from a local (Long Island) waters swordfish (note there is a significant shrinkage in the cooking process) from P.E. & D.D. Seafood, brought to kitchen/room temperature, cut into 2  segments and the skin not sliced off this time, briefly seared, 30 or so seconds on the first side, 15 or a little more on the second, inside a totally dry (no oil or butter whatsoever) enameled cast iron oval pan which had been pre-heated above a high flame until quite hot, the swordfish seasoned with local Long Island sea salt, also from P.E. & D.D., and freshly ground black pepper as it was turned, then removed and arranged on warm plates, the heat reduced to medium, a tablespoon or so of olive oil added, and slices (2cm) of one garlic scape from Phillips Farms placed inside and sautéed until softened, followed by 10 or so halved, very ripe golden cherry tomatoes from Quarton Farm, which were pushed around inside the pan briefly, the new contents of the pan then arranged on and around the swordfish, and both finished with a squeeze of a small organic Mexican lemon from Chelsea While Foods Market, garnished with some roughly chopped fresh epazote from Jayne’s TransGenerational Farm

two Sikkim cucumbers (20 ounces total) from Gopal Farm, which is very new and very welcome addition to the Union Square Greenmarket, unpeeled, sliced less than an inch thick (2 centimeters), placed inside a large heavy well-seasoned cast iron pan, sautéed over a medium-high flame, turning at least once, each side sprinkled with sea salt after it had begun to carbonize, and, well into that process, one sliced small red onion from Norwich Meadows Farm and a pinch of a now-powdered dried golden orange habanada pepper olive oil were added to the pan and the onions softened, the mix arranged on the plates when done, drizzled with a little olive oil and sprinkled with dill flowers from Quarton Farm

the wine was an Italian (Marche/Matelica) white, Verdicchio di Matelica D.O.C., from Philippe Wines

the music was the album, ‘Musici da camera: Music from Eighteenth-Century Prague’, Jana Semerádová conducting the Collegium Marianum, including the bassoonist Sergio Azzolin