By the time I got home from the Irvington Farmers Market Wednesday night it was well past 9 p.m. My kids were away so I could have easily gotten away with a bowl of yogurt and Concklin blueberries for dinner. Or even skipped dinner at that point. A long afternoon in the blaring sun tends to dull my appetite. But the folks at Pura Vida had given me a tiny piece of blue fish because it was so fresh, they said, it might as well have swum up the Saw Mill Parkway. I couldn’t be bothered at that time of day to make a sauce. Besides, blue fish has so much character on its own, it needs no enhancement. In fact, if anything, it needs a little softening – a nice buffering mound of couscous or better yet, some orzo or lemon pasta from Flour City Pasta. I took my glistening piece of fish, put it in my tiny oval copper pan (a hand-me-down from my dad’s restaurant days) drizzled it with olive oil (from Kontoulis, naturally) and some brightening lemon, added some salt and pepper and fresh thyme. I was about to pop it in the oven when I saw those plump, inviting tomatoes from Newgate Farm and that zucchini and onion from Madura and Morgiewicz on my kitchen counter…and I was reminded of what my mother used to do with fish on a hot summer night. She’d slice some tomato, zucchini and onion (all in rounds of similar size and as thin as the knife would allow). Then she’d simply layer them onto the fish (works with a whole fish or any fillet). One row or column of tomatoes, alternating with one row of zucchini and one row of thin onion circles. I always helped her with this task because it felt a bit like an art project. It took five minutes longer to prepare but when the fish was cooked (about 25-30 minutes) it felt as though Provence had just blown through my front door. The flavorful buttery orzo from Flour City Pasta? Icing. Long days working in the blaring sun? Well worth it…
Don’t forget: the knife sharpener will be at the market tomorrow.
Hope you are all enjoying the goat cheese from Coach Farm!
And, in case you haven’t heard, Roaming Angus will now be coming every week.
Enjoy your weekend!
Pascale Le Draoulec
food writer/ author/ farmers market director