Monthly Archives: May 2006

05/04/06

CITY Salad

Serves 6

3 small heads limestone lettuce or other greens
1/2 large carrot, peeled and julienned
1 pickling or Kirby cucumber*, peeled and julienned
1/2 small daikon radish, julienned

House Dressing
1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce**
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons Pernod
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

Thoroughly wash and dry lettuce. Break into bite-sized pieces and place in a large salad bowl. Toss is the julienned carrot, cucumber, and radish.

Whisk dressing ingredients together in a bowl. Toss with salad just before serving.

* pickling or Kirby cucumbers are small, pale green cucumbers with fewer seeds and a milder flavor than larger cucumbers.

** Thai fish sauce is a salty brown sauce, similar to soy sauce, made of anchovy, fish or shrimp extract and salt.

05/04/06

Spicy Soba Noodle Salad

Serves 6

1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon molasses
1/4 cup dark sesame oil
1/4 cup tahini*
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup chili oil
3 tablespoons balsamic or red wine vinegar
1/2 bunch scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
Salt to taste
1/2 pound Soba or Japanese buckwheat noodles**
1 recipe CITY Salad (see recipe)

Place soy sauce in a pan over high heat and reduce by half. Turn heat to low, stir in molasses, and warm briefly. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Add sesame oil, tahini, brown sugar, chili oil, vinegar, and scallions, and whisk to combine. Season to taste with salt, if desired.

Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil. Add noodles, bring back to a boil, and cook, stirring occasionally, until they just begin to soften, about 3 minutes. (Soba noodles can overcook very quickly, so stay nearby.)

Have ready a large bowl of iced water. Drain noodles, plunge in iced water, and drain again. Place in a colander and rinse well under cold running water. Combine noodles and sauce, toss well, and chill. Serve on a bed of CITY Salad.

* tahini is a paste made from ground sesame seeds.

** soba noodles are thin, dark Japanese noodles made from buckwheat flour.

05/04/06

Ensalada de Green Goddess

By steaming zucchini whole as we saw cooks do in Greece, more vegetable flavor is locked in while keeping the texture firm. Prepare the luscious, creamy dressing a day in advance for the flavors to ripen in the refrigerator.

Serves 4 to 6

1 pound zucchini
3 ounces panela or Monterey Jack cheese, diced
1 bunch green onions, sliced
2 poblano chiles, roasted, seeded, peeled, and julienned*
Sea salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup pimiento-stuffed green olives, sliced
Avocado Dressing, recipe follows

Steam the whole zucchini over simmering water 6 to 8 minutes, until softened through but not mushy. Cut into thick slices.

Combine all of the ingredients except the dressing in a bowl and toss. Add the Avocado Dressing and gently toss. Chill at least 1/2 hour and serve.

Avocado Dressing

Makes 1 cup

1 avocado, peeled and pitted
Juice of 2 lemons
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 serrano chile, stemmed and seeded
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Mash the avocado with the lemon juice in a bowl. Transfer to a blender along with the remaining ingredients and puree until smooth. Pour the dressing into a container, cover, and allow to mellow in the refrigerator up to 2 days.

* Fresh chiles and bell peppers can be roasted over a gas flame or on a tray under the broiler. Keep turning so the skin is evenly charred, without burning and drying out the flesh. Transfer charred peppers to a plastic bag, tie the top closed, and let steam until cool to the touch, about 10 to 15 minutes. The best way to peel is just to pull off the charred skin by hand and then dip the peppers briefly in water to remove any blackened bits. Do not peel the peppers under running water since that will wash away flavorful juices. Once peeled, cut away stems, seeds, and veins.

05/04/06

Spicy Pear and Endive Salad with Pistachios

Serves 4

1/2 cup raw unsalted pistachios, shelled
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons sugar
2 comice or d’anjou pears, cut in quarters, cored, and sliced into 1/2-inch wedges
4 heads Belgian endive, cored and sliced in strips lengthwise
1/2 to 3/4 cup Cabrales blue cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons pickled jalapeños, sliced
1/4 cup Honey Chipotle Vinaigrette, see recipe below
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

In a small fry pan, combine pistachios, salt and pepper, and sugar. Sauté over medium-low heat, stirring and shaking frequently, until pistachios are toasted and the sugar caramelizes and coats the pistachios. Transfer pistachios to a non-stick or parchment-lined cookie sheet and allow to cool.

In a large bowl, combine pears, endive, Cabrales, jalapeños, vinaigrette, and salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to four chilled salad plates and sprinkle with pistachios. Serve immediately.

Honey Chipotle Vinaigrette

Makes about 1 cup

1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 dry chipotle, stemmed and seeded
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons honey, warm
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Combine vinegar and chipotle in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and oil is emulsified. Adjust seasonings to taste.

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