Some of my tastiest kitchen concoctions have been created for a solitary meal for myself. When preparing food foe me alone I feel free to mix in a little of this and that without fear of failure. The result is often a simple but new and successful combination of flavors. Tonight I baked a sweet potato and topped it with roasted walnut oil, ground, dried kelp and bucheron cheese. Three simple toppings created a winner. It is difficult to find roasted walnut oil in this country. There is a new vendor at the Ferry Building's Saturday farmers market that produces a walnut oil that rivals the French walnut oils. The producer is Glasshoff Farms, a third generation local farmer, located in Suisun Valley. Here is their website. I recommend their roasted walnut oil as well as their jams. Do read their story and look for their stand.
I also made myself a wilted frisee salad with pine nuts and fresh garlic based on a recipe in this month's vegetarian times magazine.
Warm Frisee Springtime Salad
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 stalks of fresh garlic, sliced on diagonal
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon butter
2 organic navel oranges
1 lb. frisee, washed and torn
1T tablespoon balsamic
1/4 cup parmigiano reggiano grated with vegetable peeler
1. Place nuts, galic, olive oil and butter in small skillet. Cook over low heat for ten minutes or until pine nuts and garlic are golden.
2. Meanwhile, remove zest from orange and reserve for another use. (You can mince the zest, dry it for a couple of days and add to salads, hot cereals. Store in a small jar when thoroughly dry.) Stand orange upright on cutting board and remove remaining peel and pith with knife, following curve of fruit from top to bottom. Repeat with the other orange and set aside.
3. Place frisee in a large bowl. Pour hot oil with garlic and pine nuts over greens. Cut sections of orange along membranes while holding over the bowl to catch the juices, as if slicing out a wedge and release wedges one by one. Repeat with second orange. Toss. Add balsamic, toss again. Add cheese and divide among 2-4 plates.
Based on Wilted Dandelion Salad with Pine Nuts and Crispy Garlic Vegetarian Times, April/May 2011. Pg 64.
I am so thrilled to be able to get my orchids to re-bloom here in this wonderful city filled with moist air, I had to show it off.