broiled sea perch, anchovy; tomato, marjoram; fennel, chili

It was our fourth seafood dinner in 9 days, but the first one to include actual fish. Until last night there had been mussels, scallops, and crabs, but nothing with fins.

  • six beautiful 2 or 3-ounce orange/red ocean perch fillets from American Seafood Company’s stand at Saturday’s Chelsea’s Down to Earth Farmers Market on 23rd Street, rinsed and dried, both sides brushed with 2 tablespoons of olive oil mixed with a total of little more than one teaspoon, combined, of chopped ‘Chesnok Red’ garlic from Alewife Farm and a section of one thinly-sliced ‘red spring onion’ from Norwich Meadows Farm, seasoned, also on  both sides, with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, placed inside an enameled cast iron pan and broiled, skin side up, 4 or 5 inches from the flames, for 4 or 5 minutes, or until the skin had become crisp and the fish cooked through, finished on the plates with some olive oil that had been heated inside a small antique enameled cast iron porringer over a very low flame for about 3 minutes with 2 salted, rinsed, and filleted Sicilian anchovies from Eataly, rinsed and filleted, the perch garnished with scissored bronze fennel buds and blossoms, from RIse & Root Farm, served with organic California lemon halves from Whole Foods Market on the side
  • three small Pozzano plum tomatoes from Norwich Meadows Farm, halved lengthwise, dried thoroughly, placed cut side down on a plate that had been sprinkled with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, pan-grilled, cut side down, then turned over, and finished with a dab of olive oil and a bit of balsamic vinegar, garnished with chopped marjoram from Stokes Farm
  • one small fennel bulb from Lucky Dog Organic Farm, the fronds having already been removed and set aside after it had arrived at the apartment, cut into bite size pieces and sautéed inside a large high-sided tin-lined copper pan with a couple tablespoons of olive oil until beginning to caramelize, stirring in near the end one thickly-sliced garlic clove and 3 small red shishito peppers, sliced, until the garlic had softened and the mix had become pungent, finished by tossing in some of the more tender fennel fronds, chopped, the vegetables arranged on the plates with a sprinkling of more fennel fronds
  • the wine was an Australian (Victoria/Rutherglen) white, Jen Pfeiffer The Rebel Sauvignon Blanc 2018, from Naked Wines
  • the music was a 1658 opera by Pier Francesco Cavalli, ‘L’Ipermestra’,  Mike Fentross conducting La Sfera Armoniosa , with one particularly gorgeous tenor voice