This is the start of restaurant week in New York city. It's a great opportunity to explore the diverse offering of international cuisines and to meet up with friends I haven't seen for a while. By the way, it's also the best buy in town. R and I went to The Dutch in Soho. We had ceviche, fresh peas and the most memorable summer salad, served with mustard greens, nectarine, goat cheese, chicken as the main course. We thoroughly cleaned up the plate, every last scrap of the greens, stone fruits and every drop of the salad dressing. Somehow, we didn't finish the chicken. (Everyone around us was ordering the fried chicken, the signature dish of the restaurant.) We peppered the waitress with so many questions and she was patient and helpful enough to go back to the kitchen to get us the answers. These are the tips as we can gather: the freshest greens daily from the Union Square market and the secret dressing.
I could never get enough of a glorious summer salad like this. The very next day, I set out to replicate its delicious goodness in my kitchen and to take advantage of the bountiful stone fruits and greens available locally. I also get some help from this recipe I found on Ottolenghi's website.
I adapted the recipe guided by the summer salad that had inspired me. I think I got it. Here is the jest with the dressing: slow roast one beet for two hours until soft. Put beet, garlic clove, Dijon mustard, white wine vinegar, honey, salt and pepper in a food processor. Drizzle in the olive oil until the dressing is smooth. Since I used one candy beet, instead of a red beet, my dressing turned orange, the color of that of a thousand island dressing, not red. The red color would've been bright and cheerful looking. The beet dressing has the depth of flavor like no other. It's so delicious that I'd drink the whole thing.
I could not stop eating this salad. I substituted goat cheese for gorgonzola, so that the fruity sunny flavor of nectarines, as well as the greens, would shine. Used two kinds of green: arugula and endive. The lightly roasted chopped almonds in butter are a welcoming play in texture. This salad is so refreshing and tantalizing; I'm thinking of making another one in short order.
It's potluck week at IHCC. I'm also linking this post to Souper Sundays and joining the other seasonal soups and salads at Kahakai Kitchen in Hawaii. There will be plenty of ideas for a feast of light summer dishes. Please take a look.
|Salad with arugula, endive, nectarines, goat cheese, chopped almonds and beet dressing.|