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What can be more French than leeks in vinaigrette? We went on a wine bar tour with Paris by Mouth and tasted wines along with a few hors d’oeuvres in a couple of wine bars. The first stop was at Septime La Cave in the 11th arrendissement. It’s a small wine shop/bar opened by chef Bertrand Grebaut across the street from his restaurant Septime. You can stop by the wine bar and have a glass of wine with a couple of appetizers at their counter. I will tell more about the tour in the next post but I had to […]
Broccoli salads were not part of my cooking repertoire until recently. I don’t know why I never made them before. Maybe it is because of the mushy broccoli salads on buffet tables, I have seen too many of those. Once I started making them though I cannot seem to stop. Broccoli can make a beautiful crunchy salad that is full of flavour and family and friends seem to enjoy it. There are never any leftovers. The key to this salad is to chop the broccoli into small bite size pieces. It doesn’t work as well with large broccoli florets. Sometimes […]
Here is the recipe for the potato vegetable salad that I prepared for the Diner en Blanc the other day. As far as I am concerned it’s a full meal deal but also makes a nice substantial salad to serve alongside other foods. Make it with small new potatoes cut in half or quartered and add corn, green peas, green beans, radishes, green onion, shredded radicchio and whatever else strike your fancy. I like adding green leafy element and this time used pea shoots, added at the last moment so they don’t lose their colour to the acid in the […]
I love the irregular shape of heirloom tomatoes. They look so nice sliced on the plate or stacked with different varieties. With a good piece of grilled bread it makes a nice light lunch or a substantial first course. Here it is paired with an orange tomato (orange colour tomato) dressing. Salad dressing is easy to make but If you are not inclined to make your own you could try a a bottled dressing from a good specialty stores (or winery). Ingredients: 1 Heirloom tomato per person 1/2 a ball of fresh buffalo mozzarella per person Baby lettuce or mixed […]
A salad is very demanding. It demands perfection of ingredients, it demands an understated elegance in the way it is dressed and it demands a fine balance of flavours and textures. Salad ingredients must be fresh and free of blemishes. For leaf salads the greens must be young and crisp and sometimes only the inner leaves will do. Vegetables must be tender and crisp and fruits ripe and flavourful. If they are not, move on to the next course and make a vegetable soup with what you have. A salad does not have to be composed of one type of […]
Agave and crème fraiche combine to make a sweet and tangy dressing that goes particularly well with bitter greens such as arugula, endive and radicchio. I find that this dressing works best when blended with the help of an immersion blender Ingredients: 1/4 cup crème fraiche 1/4 cup agave syrup 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar 1/2 cup canola oil Directions: Combine all ingredients in a cup and blend with an immersion blender. The dressing will keep in the fridge for a few days. You may need to blend it again before using.
Salads, especially those that include nuts and cheese, are particularly good when you add some nut oil to the dressing. Here is a dressing using hazelnut oil and some ground hazelnuts as well that give the dressing body and texture. Instead of using all hazelnut oil I divide the amount and use half vegetable oil and half hazelnut oil, for a slightly milder version of the dressing. You can however use all nut oil. Ingredients: 1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted and chopped 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar 2 tablespoons port 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 1 tablespoon honey Salt and pepper 1/4 […]
Classic vinaigrette made with Dijon mustard, garlic, vinegar and olive oil. Use the best ingredients you can find. Extra virgin olive oil from a reliable producer and good quality vinegar. What you put in is what you get out in flavour. Ingredients: 1 garlic clove, mashed or finely grated 2 teaspoon Dijon mustard 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon pepper 2 tablespoons wine vinegar, red or white 1/2 cup olive oil, best quality extra virgin Directions: Combine all ingredients except oil in a cup and mix. Slowly add oil in a slow stream whisking constantly to emulsify.
Here is a simple but good vinaigrette recipe made creamy with the addition of an egg yolk. If you’d prefer it without the egg just leave it out of the recipe. A tablespoon of cream can replace it if you feel better about cream than an egg. 1 egg yolk 2 teaspoons coarse grain mustard 1 clove garlic, grated 1/2 teaspoon Salt 1/4 teaspoon pepper 2 teaspoon white wine vinegar 1/2 cup olive oil To make the vinaigrette combine all ingredients except oil in a small dish and whisk to blend well. Add the olive oil by a slow drizzle, […]
I call this chopped leaves salad because I cut the greens with a knife into bite size pieces rather than break them by hand. It’s a good salad to make when you want to use the crisp green outer leaves of the romaine lettuce or larger leaves of red leaf or other salad greens you have in your fridge. I usually try to use the tender inner leaves for most salads but in this case the crisp outer leaves will also do. Use whatever varieties of leaves are lingering in your fridge a few days after shopping, but they have […]