03 Jan2011

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It’s unusual to have the vegetables as the “wow factor” for a major holiday meal. But it just worked out that way a few weeks ago. The discovery of Kitchen Herbs Farm as a source, along with market forays days before some of our dinners meant we had an unusually varied selection of produce in our fridge. One evening, I decided to experiment and try to replicate this recipe of Eric Ripert, of Le Bernardin fame. I thought the results were visually spectacular. Carefully blanched patani or fava beans were peeled to expose their wonderful bright yellow green color, and they joined baby beets, baby carrots and haricots vert. I added some very young wild arugula, corn sprouts, radish sprouts and some tiny ripe tomatoes and dill flowers and this was the canvas upon which a a thin slice of sashimi quality tuna that was seared on only one side was laid to rest. If I were a waiter, I would have trouble repeating that for a diner… :)

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I laid “my plate” beside a photo of Ripert’s dish, and the first thing you notice is that mine has more on the plate. Sparseness is desired in this case, as I suppose this is meant to be a light starter, or a main course for an anorexic xray trophy wife. I couldn’t resist putting more because we had so many ingredients in stock…

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The thin slices of tuna were brushed with the finest olive oil in the house, sprinkled with fresh oregano and seared for just seconds until it turned color. The uncooked side was left facing up, brushed with good olive oil and sprinkled with salt and some chopped chives. Over all of this some micro-arugula from Fresh Fields suki Edwin just took this a little over the top. A nice sprig of sweet basil replicates the Ripert version as closely as possible. The veggies were drizzled with a mustard vinaigrette. The result? SUPERB. A little bit sashimi, with a little bit of cooked tuna. The salad was both visually arresting and a perfect complement to each little fork full of tuna. I thought this was the one hit dish of the December entertaining season. And relatively easy to make if you happen to have all the components. Beautiful AND delicious. And nearly 100% locally grown or sourced… Many thanks to Gejo Jimenez of Kitchen Herbs Farm and Edwin of Fresh Fields for the gorgeous produce and herbs.

 

COMMENTS:

  1. ECJ says:

    Happy New Year MM, family and crew! It’s like fireworks on a plate…YUM!

    Jan 3, 2011 | 7:05 am

     
  2. Vettievette says:

    Manigong Bagong Taon, MM! Where is the tuna from? My Titos own pretty large-scale seafood/fishing business in Davao and General Santos City where sashimi-grade tuna is the star. We are of course very spoiled whenever we visit home. :)

    Jan 3, 2011 | 8:30 am

     
  3. Marketman says:

    Vettievette, the tuna is from the Seaside market in Baclaran, which has the best seafood section (along with Farmers Market in Cubao) and they have tuna flown in from General Santos City…

    Jan 3, 2011 | 9:23 am

     
  4. Junb says:

    Imagine these will easily cost you around P2000 ++ here

    Jan 3, 2011 | 1:01 pm

     
  5. millet says:

    that’s perfect post-holiday food!

    Jan 3, 2011 | 2:10 pm

     
  6. kim e says:

    nice colors. :) mm, were the beets baked? or just boiled?

    Jan 3, 2011 | 4:52 pm

     
  7. atbnorge says:

    Lovely salad, MM!

    Jan 3, 2011 | 10:02 pm

     
  8. Marketman says:

    kim e, the beets were just blanched. But they could have been baked briefly as an alternative… and would have been even sweeter and more flavorful…

    Jan 4, 2011 | 6:31 am

     
  9. jo says:

    so yummy-looking!!!

    Jan 4, 2011 | 2:16 pm

     
  10. marilen says:

    Ha, ha, ha, had to chuckle at your words – try having the waiter to describe all that! but just delicious and lovely presentation.

    Jan 4, 2011 | 8:56 pm

     
  11. ChefM says:

    MM,

    Roast the beets with olive oil and salt and pepper and the taste is wonderful! if you ever have a chance on making baby beets and goat cheese salad you will be surprise of the contrast of flavor of roasted beets, goat cheese, orange,candied pecans and some mache. I am saying this because I am looking at your bounty and I can taste all the freshness of your vegetables ! baby vegetables are the number one on my list when it comes to making dinner @ home for a company or with friends …. and of course we use this kind @ the restaurant too ! been a follower since my culinary student days few yrs back , lol .. and I promised myself not to leave a comment but just be a stalker but I cannot stop myself from posting a comment about the beets and baby vegetables…

    Jan 5, 2011 | 10:42 am

     
  12. Marketman says:

    ChefM, yes, I love roasted beets, and have done them before. Also did a salad with some goat’s cheese, here. I just didn’t feel like turning on the oven just to roast a few beets in this case, but definitely, the flavor is better when roasted. As for stalker mode, 96-98% of readers choose to take that route, but look how much richer the posts are when folks add intelligent or amusing or insightful comments! :)

    Jan 5, 2011 | 1:50 pm

     
  13. Leah says:

    Oh wow, beautiful! Will try this out soon. A happy new year to you!

    ~Leah
    (http://simplesplendidthings.wordpress.com/)

    Jan 5, 2011 | 3:42 pm

     
  14. Ian says:

    Hi MM,
    Try roasting the beets in salt w thyme and orange peels

    Jan 6, 2011 | 10:00 pm

     
  15. PICA PICA VEGGIELICIOUS says:

    naku MM! sa dami ng napulot ko ideas sa blogs mo kung marami lang ako puhunan palagay ko ung kiosk business ko gagawin ko ng resto…

    Jan 15, 2011 | 11:13 pm

     
 

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