Plump and firm-fleshed, fluke, or summer flounder, caught off Long Island are at their best right now. Most weigh in at about four pounds, but this substantial specimen caught by Alex Villani of Greenmarket’s Blue Moon Fish tipped the scales at three times that. Old salts call these jumbos “doormats” owing to their shape and size and the fact that they lie on the ocean floor with their eyes (both located on the left side) protruding upward. They’re good enough to eat as sashimi, or as Dovetail’s John Fraser does, quickly grilled on one side and then splashed about in a vinaigrette.
John Fraser’s Fluke Escabèche
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for fish
Juice of 2 limes
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped
1/2 red onion, diced
1 pound fluke fillet
1 large avocado, diced
Whisk together olive oil, lime juice, red pepper, a pinch of sea salt, a pinch of white pepper, oregano, and onion. Season fluke with salt and white pepper, and rub generously with olive oil. (1) Grill fluke on 1 side over very high heat in a stove-top grill pan or on an outdoor grill. Cook until it becomes slightly translucent, approximately 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat, and let rest for a minute. (2) Add fillet to the vinaigrette, and marinate for 5 minutes. Remove fillet and slice into 1-inch strips. Add avocado to vinaigrette, and (3) spoon over sliced fluke. Toss lightly and serve warm. Serves 4.