Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Salad Days, Part 2

A farmer's market Comice pear, and from the garden, deep green mache and arugula.

I composed last night's salad with relatively traditional ingredients, pear, mache, arugula, toasted almonds, and Stilton, but instead of using the balsamic vinaigrette I often use with this combination, I played with the dressing. I smashed the peel of a quarter of homemade preserved lemon with two cloves of garlic until the lemon and garlic combined to make a paste, stirred in some sherry vinegar, then strained the mixture into a jar, removing the chunks of lemon and garlic that I couldn't break down. To the strained liquid, I added a drizzle of honey, a very large pinch of Spanish smoked paprika, some ground pepper, a few glugs of olive oil, and a little salt. Finally, I lidded the jar and shook and shook until the mixture was emulsified then dressed the salad. The smoked paprika worked well with both the blue cheese and the nuttiness of the mache. I'll be playing with it as an ingredient in future salad dressings.

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