Salad as a Meal, Healthy Main-Dish Salads for Every Season by Patricia Wells includes recipes like Bacon-Wrapped Goat Cheese with Dandelion Greens; Home-Smoked Trout, Tarragon, and Cucumber Salad with Horseradish Cream; and Salmon and Halibut Tartare with Fennel, Chives, Avocado, and Pistachio Oil.
One sunny weekday in September, I accompanied students from our Provence cooking school to a wine tasting in Fabrice Langlois and Michel Granier-Poncet's wonderful wine bistro, Vinoe & Co, in Avignon. They offered this stunning first course, a variation on the usual tartare. The chef set the colorful salmon and halibut mix on a bed of braised fennel, offering a pleasant crunch and an appealing variety of textures. If you can, use the pistachio oil here, for it marries beautifully with the richness of avocado.
Equipment: 4 chilled large dinner plates; a 4-inch-ring mold (optional)
1. In a small skillet, combine the fennel, olive oil, and the salt. Sweat—cook, covered, over low heat until soft and translucent—for about 8 minutes. Drain, and divide among the plates.
2. Place the halibut and salmon in a large bowl. Add the scallions, chives, basil, and avocado. Add just enough pistachio oil to lightly coat the tartare, tossing gently. Season with fleur de sel and toss once more. Mound the tartare on top of the braised fennel. (Or place a mold over the fennel and spoon a portion of the tartare into the center of the mold, pressing down lightly. Remove the mold.) Serve.
Wine Suggestion: That day, Fabrice and Michel served the almost creamy-textured Sancerre from François Cotat, with enough minerality and fruit to marry beautifully with the fish duo, herbs, and vegetables here.
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This page created June 2011
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