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Tag Archives: Salad
Fallen-leaves

Salade d’Automne

Fallen leaves, earthy and bright colors, fruity and mellow flavors are all around this month. Those are the sources of inspiration for the color palate, the scents and textures of my new fall-inspired salad. It will take your senses on a stroll through the nostalgic and sweet feeling that this season often leaves us with. Crunchy and juicy asian pears are complemented by sweet, lightly cooked butternut squash, carrots, parsnips and purple brussels sprouts. The red shiso  leaves balance the softness of the salad adding a nice minty flavor to the plate. The seasoning is an unusually soft aioli made with caramelized apple puree.

If you were to guess what the wafers are representing, I am pretty sure that you would guess right – dry leaves. Now, the noteworthy element about the wafers is the ingredient that allowed me to achieve their toasty, light chestnut flavor and and mimic the crunchiness of a dried leaf. We used acorn flour.

Acorns are mainly known as wildlife food in areas where oak trees occur. It has not been immediately appealing to cooks because it contains large amounts of tannins that are very bitter, astringent and potentially irritant in their raw form. This is why it was first added in meals during difficult times to overcome a food crisis by Native American or Korean cooks – during World War II. Today though, thanks to different steeping and soaking processes acorn flour is much more subtle and pleasing to the palate and it adds a nice nutty twist to a dish.

 

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SaladedEte

Growing your own fancy ingredients

Exploring a farmers’ market’s summer offerings is a great way to court the wonder of the delightful variety and beauty of the fruit and vegetable kingdom. In some cases, you might be also surprised by the price tags. Cucumber flowers, zucchini flowers and lavender are among those ingredients that one might relish on a plate but is not ready to spend the extra dollars on.

Why not consider, then, a cheaper and more environmentally conscious path to procure them: growing them yourself. By the way, there is no need for a fancy large garden to do so (I am referring here to family-size crops, not restaurant ones, of course). A deck, a few half barrels, a bag or two of organic soil and a few seeds will do the trick.

Aromatic herbs, lavender, zucchinis, tomatoes, pepper, peas, beans, even artichokes are among those delicious ingredients that are usually easy to find in nurseries and can be bought either as seeds or as small plants. The herbs are more fresh and fragrant, the fruits and vegetables can be harvested as flowers or fully grown, and you can teach your children where your food comes from and how to grow it. To top it all, you can even grow plants that aren’t easily found in stores such as citrus verbena, edible lavender and edible flowers.

In my Salade d’Été (Summer Salad), I am using baby summer vegetables, a cucumber flower and verbena aioli. Come and try the difference that these pristine ingredients make in this fresh, flavorful, zesty dish.

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SpringSalad2web

Wine Pairings with Tim Augello

“My interest in wine was piqued while I was working at Manresa. I was drawn to the intricacies of wine and how it made food taste better. I love the marriage between food and wine, and how when paired properly both the food and wine are elevated above that of the individual elements. As a foodie, I’m always interested in increasing my food and wine experiences.

Born in Los Gatos, CA in fairly close proximity to Napa Valley, it was easy for me to build upon my wine knowledge. After becoming an assistant sommelier at Manresa, I decided to take my sommelier certification which establishes a high standard of the knowledge and service of wine for professionals in the Hospitality Industry.

When tasting and purchasing wine for Baume, I take into account the food and work on building a well rounded wine list. I include most of the significant wine regions in the world with a focus on both local Californian and French wines.

I try to make wine approachable. Below are two examples of wine pairings with a couple of our spring dishes that will help you understand my selecting process :
For the Caviar Crudités, I am pairing the non vintage Bruno Paillard Premiere Cuvee Brut Champagne; it provides a nice acidic backbone with fine bubbles which enhances the experience of the caviar popping on the palate. It also provides both a cleansing purity for the caviar, as well as a slight yeastiness to compliment the brioche.

For the Salade du Printemps, I have paired the 2009 Domaine du Salvard Cheverny, a Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley. It has an herbaceous quality to it that complements the young flowers, herbs and spring vegetables that have just come into season. It is light bodied enough to complement the dish without overpowering it.

Bon appétit!”

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