Monday, November 23, 2009

Salad recipe from the French Laundry Cookbook

I started reading The French Laundry Cookbook last weekend and decided to make a loose version of one of the recipes yesterday. I know that it's something like 10 years after its publication, but it's really a great cookbook. I thought it would be all crazy complicated, but Keller walks you through basic techniques and fundamental concepts, and writes about things like what kind of kosher salt he likes (Crystal Diamond) to the best way to roll a torchon of foie gras.

Anyway, I wanted to eat fish last night and wanted to have a salad (trying to eat healthier nowadays) so I did a variant of his Salad of Haricot Vert, Tomato Tartare, and Chive Oil. I've also always wanted to work on making better composed salads. I replaced the haricot vert with regular green beans because they're cheaper, the tomato tartare with tuna because that was easier and I wanted fish, but I kept the chive oil. I haven't made anything with tuna for a long time and I saw some beautiful-looking tuna at the Lobster Place the day before, so I got a pound of it. I know it sounds like a weird substitution, but it worked. We used the leftover tuna for sashimi. Here's a picture of the final product.

From the bottom up, you've got chive oil; tuna with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and onion; green beans with cream and sherry vinagrette (he calls for red wine vinegar); and topped off with chicory dressed in olive oil and balsamic (he calls for frisee and I don't think uses balsamic). I didn't have the metal ring you need to plate the tuna, so I found a container of expired sundried tomatoes in the apartment, threw out the tomatoes, and cut out my own mold from the plastic container. The dish tasted very good. Not a perfect reproduction of the original recipe, but I picked up some new techniques and I think got into the spirit of things. Which is why I love this cookbook. I'm not going to be following the recipes to the letter, but he has got some clear principles and explains why he does things the way he does. I'm looking forward to the rest of the book.

1 comment:

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