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… :)
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…
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.