A Seasonal Summit of Tilefish, Fava Purée, and Rhubarb Salad at Amalia

Egypt and Iran unite behind tilefish.Photo: Jed Egan

At Amalia tonight, chef Ivy Stark has reeled in a fish seldom seen in New York dining circles which is too bad, because golden tilefish is one of our favorites. Meaty, dense, and full of oily goodness, its similar to mackerel in taste, but much, much bigger, typically weighing about twenty pounds. Since it cant be done whole, Stark serves a pan-seared, skin-on filet of the fleshy creature, with a very springlike pure of fava beans and pineapple-mint leaves (the latter being one of the latest designer hybrid herbs on the market). Its really very Egyptian, Stark says. I was looking through my cookbooks, and I came across it and decided it would be perfect. The dish is also served with an Iranian-style salad of raw salted rhubarb with whole mint leaves, spring chives, lime, and garlic. I saw people eating raw rhubarb on the street in Iran, Stark says, and the salt completely takes away the sourness and bitterness I love not having to cook it. Its so much more refreshing this way.