Every once and a blue moon I come up with something truly unusual and delicious. This spring salad starter was unforgettably tasty and beautiful in color. It matches perfectly with champagne too!
I happened to come across an unusual offering at my local Parisian farmer's market. At my lettuce guy's stall he had the usual spring bounty: petit pois, tender young carrots, new potatoes, arugula, frisee, small artichokes, red lettuce, etc. But then I spotted a brown bag filled with deep purple leaves. He let me munch one before buying and I was surprised at how sweet the leaves were. Firm texture, almost leathery, with a slightly acidic aftertaste. Who knew you could eat beet leaves!?!
I plated the salad with a strawberry vinaigrette and served ripe melon along side with blended blue cheese covered crostini's. If you're wondering if I've totally lost my mind, then you have just got to try it! I served my guests this starter and we all were surprised (including myself) at how delicious it was and how well it paired with the champagne. We followed with a little surf and turf of fillet and scallops with mango salsa. Yummy!
Happy May Day!!!
I've started to experiment with fruit in unconventional ways. In the past I've always assumed that fruit was for dessert or the cheese plate, but lately I've been learning how to bring it onto the dinner menu too. Like tandori John Dory with mango & papaya curry or scallops with a salsa of tomato, kiwi, and pineapple.
Recipe to follow...
P.S. No word on my estage at Guy Savoy yet...still waiting...uggh!
Half basket of ripe strawberries
1/4 red wine vinegar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup olive oil
large pinch of salt (three finger pinch)
large pinch of sugar and more if strawberries aren't ripe enough
few grinds of white pepper
1. Let strawberries macerate in vinegar for at least a half hour.
2. Blend strawberries and vinegar together and drizzle in oils
3. Add big pinch of sugar and salt.
4. Taste and adjust seasoning. This dressing should not taste too sweet.
5. Add some white pepper if desired
6. Strain if you want to get all those little seeds out, but I normally don't bother.