Gourmandistan

Pro-cress-ive Dinner

As we creep towards our true Spring, while our local farmers tantalizingly talk of tender shoots, we rely on trips to Whole Foods for anything approximating a green vegetable. Fortunately WF has been stocking some local hydroponic watercress, allowing us to make one of our favorite salads—something Michelle created via a series of inspirations and ideas.

The path to this salad began a decade ago at Fish La Boissonnerie, a lovely little bistro on Rue de Seine in Paris. Featuring baby arugula, shavings of Parmesan cheese and sliced dates, the peppery green, sweet and salty salad charmed us greatly, and we took the idea back with us to Gourmandistan. There, like many things, the salad began to adapt. Desiring a more nutty flavor, we began using a walnut oil vinaigrette. Later, for even more punch, we started sugar-toasting walnuts and adding some chili flakes for extra kick, which led to orange slices to tone down the heat.  We began to use watercress, finding it less peppery and more tender than the original arugula, and soon the salad became not from Fish, but from ourselves. Add a bit of Blue Dog baguette and it’s a dinner in Gourmandistan by way of Paris, a pleasant journey we can’t seem to get enough of.

WALNUT VINAIGRETTE

  • Servings: 1 cup dressing
  • Print

(adapted from Myra Goodman’s Food to Live By: The Earthbound Farm Organic Cookbook)

  • 3/4 c. walnut oil (preferably roasted)
  • 1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 t. Dijon mustard
  • splash of fresh orange juice
  • salt and pepper

Place all ingredients in a glass jar with lid tightly sealed.  Shake to combine.

 
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