Day 10 – Salads

14 Jul

I usually eat a salad everyday, so I was excited by the salad unit today. Unfortunately, I was underwhelmed by this unit.  The only salad I thought was interesting and tasty was the cooked vegetable salad with a fondue de tomate. The thought of “cooked vegetables” in my salad was, at first, somewhat unappealing (although blanching and shocking can make for some delicious vegetables in the right circumstances). But, the flavor combinations and presentation of this salad were definitely worth the time consuming steps.  The Mark-Rachel “cooked vegetable salad” creation is below.

The best two parts about this salad are the tomato fondu on top and the fresh basil puree-mayo dressing.  It’s a very rich salad since the dressing’s base is mayo, but it’s also interesting due to different textures and flavor profiles.  The tomato fondu topping would be great on a crostini or as a side for chicken, as well.  It’s super simple and here’s the recipe: 1) skin, de-seed, and rough chop a few tomatoes (set aside for the moment), 2) sweat about an ounce of diced shallots in butter in a saute pan (saute on low heat, essentially – no browning!), 3) after the shallots are soft, add the tomatoes, 1 garlic clove that is sliced thinly, and a bouquet garni (in cheesecloth, wrap 10-20 peppercorns, a bay leaf, a couple of sprigs of thyme, and some parsley stems, and tie the cheesecloth to make a small packet), 4) add salt, and perhaps a dash of sugar if your tomatoes are unflavorful, too acidic, or they are out of season, 5) cook on very low heat until the excess water has evaporated and your mixture starts to stew together well, about 20 minutes. Remove bouquet garni and mash remaining tomatoes, etc. with a fork. Taste for seasoning and it’s ready to spread on something.

Even though the salad unit was so-so, I was greatly impressed by the nose to tail creations by Chef Pasqual that we were invited to try. He cold smoked salmon, which was excellent, and made blood sausage, salami, ham, and some other thinly sliced/high fat content pork item.  He really showed his master skills through these creations.  I love the idea of nose to tail cooking and, although I think blood sausage is an acquired taste, I am psyched we learned about some of his techniques.

Back to salads…. so to redeem myself, tonight’s salad for dinner will include several of the vegetables we picked up today in our CSA box from Mariquita Farms – spinach, golden beets (which we’ll roast and is Carnet’s favorite), and summer tomatoes. The tomatoes are gorgeous. We’ll dress the salad with a simple balsamic, olive oil, dijon, salt and pepper dressing, which is our go-to dressing I learned in 1990 at the Saint-Cyr home in Lyon, France. Carnet’s making Coho salmon with fresh tarragon to go along with the salad (the tarragon is also from our CSA box). Can’t wait!

5 Responses to “Day 10 – Salads”

  1. Christine Traulich July 14, 2011 at 1:01 am #

    Love hearing and seeing you in your element and following your foodie passion!

  2. Shannon July 14, 2011 at 1:43 am #

    Every time I read your blog I get HUNGRY!
    Sounds like things are still going wonderfully… :o)

  3. Shannon July 14, 2011 at 1:44 am #

    Hmmm, must also comment on your chefs’ penchant for ring molds…!

    • rachelogdie July 14, 2011 at 3:45 am #

      Hilarious! Yes, it seems that I have a penchant for posting recipes that call for ring molds. Seriously, there only have been two, so far 🙂 Glad I’m making you hungry. Can’t wait to get back to Honolulu and experiment on you and Fred 😉 xo

  4. Gigi August 1, 2011 at 5:00 pm #

    Sounds yum. Can I make it ahead and keep in the fridge for a bit? xx

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