I recently met the parents of my girlfriend, we’ve all been there, but that doesn’t make it any less nerve-wracking, especially since I’m totally enamored with her. In order to make a good first impression, I wanted to cook a dinner. While the food was not perfect the whole time, just about everything else from the night went better than could be hoped for, talk about a relief.
Anyways, I’ve been watching as much about food on Youtube that I possibly can to learn more and try to quench my thirst for more culinary genius, highlights have been plentiful: Anthony Bourdain showing El Bulli in its Best Restaurant in the World prime w/Ferran Adria and his brother Albert pushing the culinary world into molecular gastronomy, William Sitwell from the BBC shows The Madness of Perfection as chefs and their restaurants work towards elite Michelin stars and almost impossible standards, and Eric Ripert and Marcus Samuelsson show everyone how to cook a perfect salmon. The salad being featured in this post is credited to Rory Herrmann, former Chef de Cuisine of Bouchon, as he visited a farmers market and was inspired by fresh, beautiful ingredients. The salad he came up with was beautiful, elegant, and extremely easy to make. Most of the time, nature has done the work for us. In the kitchen, as long as you’re using quality ingredients, you just need to do your best to not mess up the natural flavors.
Fennel, Nectarine, & Chev Salad: 4-6 servings
- 1 bulb fennel, cored and sliced very thin
- 1/2 red onion, sliced very thin
- 1 nectarine, thin wedges
- 4 ounces chev (goat cheese)
- 10 radishes, sliced
- 1 cup white wine or red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 orange, for juice
- 1 lemon, for juice
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
Heat white or red wine vinegar, sugar, water, and salt in a saucepan, bring to light boil and pour over sliced radishes. Let sit at least an hour and up to 2 weeks. Prep vegetables, for thin slices use a mandolin for precise cuts. Pour balsamic vinegar in shallow pan and reduce on low heat by half, set aside. Mix goat cheese w/salt, pepper, olive oil, and lemon to taste. Season fennel and red onion to taste with orange juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Season arugula w/lemon juice, olive oil, and salt. If nectarines aren’t sweet enough or too tart, season to taste w/sugar. Construct salad.