grilled herring fillets, mustard-oregano sauce; boiled potato

oiled and seasoned

grilled and plated


We both really like herring in virtually any form. This disposition, grilled fresh fillets, is probably less familiar to most fans of clupea harengus (Atlantic Herring) but it’s one of the most satisfying – and it makes a wonderful entrée.

The dinner we enjoyed this past Saturday almost duplicated this one from three years ago, where I wrote:

Barry and I are very lucky to live in a part of the world where there are an extraordinary number of varieties of seafood in local waters, where most are judged plentiful enough to be harvested by smaller operators, where those fishers want to make them available fresh for retail purchase by ordinary people in a central public market within a short but healthy walking distance, and where I enjoy the time needed to seek them out and prepare them using the best of my skills and some good kitchen tools.

It still works, even during a pandemic, which of course is when it becomes even more important, for everyone engaged in these pleasures and rewards.

  • eight small Atlantic herring fillets (a total of 12 ounces) from P.E. & D.D. Seafood in the Union Square Greenmarket, rinsed under running cold water, drained, dried, brushed with a little olive oil and seasoned lightly with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, arranged on a double cast iron grill pan which had gotten very hot over 2 high burner flames, grilled, skin side down, for l to 2 minutes, turned over and cooked for 1 to 2 minutes more, drizzled with a little olive oil, arranged on 2 plates and served with a sauce which had just been mixed in a small bowl, of mustard (half whole-grain Maille ‘Old Style’ whole grain Dijon, and half Domaines des Vignes ‘extra forte‘ Dijon), the leaves, chopped, of a bunch of fresh oregano from Stokes Farm, a teaspoon of pine blossom honey from Tremblay Apiaries in the Union Square Greenmarket, the zest and juice from one lemon, and a bit of olive oil, garnished with micro red sorrel from Two Guys from Woodbridge one pound of red potatoes from Norwich Meadows Farm, boiled with a generous amount of salt until barely cooked through, drained, halved, dried while still inside the large still-warm vintage Corning Pyrex Flameware blue-glass pot in which they had cooked, tossed with a tablespoon or so of olive oil, sprinkled with sea salt, freshly-ground black pepper, and garnished with bronze fennel from Windfall Farms, arranged on a small bed of leaves from a small head of purple bibb Rosaine lettuce from Norwich Meadows Farm that had been lightly seasoned with salt, pepper, olive oil, and lemon juice
  • the wine was a South African (Western Cape) white, Babylonstoren Chenin Blanc 2020, from Bottlerocket 
  • the music was Beethoven’s ‘The Creatures of Prometheus’, performed by the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Leif Segerstam