smoked scallops, lettuces; thyme-grilled quail; pole beans

Once I got going with specialness, bringing home a super shellfish appetizer from the Greenmarket (where, incidentally, seafood always wild game, except for the delicious farmed trout from Dave Harris’s Max Creek Hatchery) the idea of a main course of grilled quail (delicious, but actually almost always ‘farmed game‘, when it comes to the experiences of most of us) seemed pretty natural.

The little birds didn’t come from our local Greenmarket this time, but they did arrive from our local Eataly, via our own little local home freezer.

  • six smoked scallops (a total of 7 ounces) from Pura Vida Seafood Company arranged on a shallow bed of lettuces, a combination of red leaf buttercrunch from Fledging Crow and some flat leaf red salanova lettuce from Lucky Dog Organic Farm, the greens dressed with a good Greek olive oil (Demi, from the Peloponnese, Laconia, Vellesa, a bit of Columela Rioja 30 Year Reserva sherry vinegar, some sea salt, from P.E. & D.D. Seafood, and freshly ground black pepper
  • slices of a 7-grain boule from Citarella
  • the wine with the scallops was a French (Savoie) white, Jean Perrier et Fils, Vin de Savoie Abymes Gastronomie 2018, from Flatiron Wines

The main course was almost as simple to assemble as the first, and equally delicious.

  • four partially-boned (a tweak that’s always a treat for cooks and diners) farmed quail, weighing just over one pound together, from Buon Italia in the Chelsea Market, rinsed, dried on paper towels, rubbed with sea salt and a judicious amount of crumbled dried Itria-Sirissi chili, pepperoncino di Sardegna intero, also from Buon Italia (I don’t remember now, over a week later, whether I also included any seasoning pepper), placed breast-side-down over medium-high flames on top of a heavy 2-burner seasoned cast iron ribbed pan, a number of sprigs of fresh thyme from Keith’s Farm scattered over each, grilled for about 5 minutes, then turned over and, ensuring that the thyme branches were now resting on top of the thyme, grilled for another 5 or 6 minutes, served on the plates with a squeeze of an organic California lemon form Chelsea Whole Foods Market, and a drizzle of olive oil
  • garnished with micro red kale from Windfall Farms