Today was a whirlwind of appointments, errands, and a meeting, but the sun finally came out after two solid days of much-needed rain. Among my stop was a local market, which has an adequate (if limited) fish counter. I got haddock, because it was fresh, and a little different from our normal choices. I’ve been chafing against our limited seafood choices up here, so yesterday I talked to our friend who teaches fish at the CIA and ordered some primo salmon for Christine’s birthday. Milo and I spent some time in the garden, which resulted in some planted seeds and some picked greens for a salad: spinach, galia endive, and two lettuces- all from last winter.
We had burdock in the fridge from some overeager digging the day before, so I peeled and sliced it and then cooked it the way we like, with soy sauce and vinegar. After about 45 minutes, the root coins were pleasingly savory, earthy, and al dente (right, Claudia?) I crusted the fish with coarse local polenta, garam masala, oregano, salt, cardamom, and chilli powder and crisped it up in a bit of oil. Meanwhile, I reheated the kabocha purée from the other day and washed and dressed the salad. It came together pretty well; as with most meals recently, I had to scramble to get it together and it fell short of what I had in mind. The nights where it all meets my expectations are the special nights, I guess, and an inevitable rare result of the whole having-a-job-and-family thing.
So crusty, aromatic fish, creamy, sweet squash, and earthy-nutty burdock all intertwined and made for a good dinner on a chilly spring evening; the rain has gone, and much colder air has blown in to replace it. Before bedtime we went out to cover the beds with plastic against our first frost in two weeks. To accompany, two wines; with the summer weather comes my frequent desire to have a white or pink aperitif followed by a more substantial red. Leftover lighter wines do just fine in the fridge overnight and offer a tired cook a lovely refreshment come prep time the next day. In this case, some 2006 Magnien Burgundy rosé followed by the rest of the La Spinetta nebbiolo from the other night.