Easy Spring Delights From Top Chef

Chef from Aquavit cooks CBS/The Early Show

Cookbook author and chef Marcus Samuelsson is still young, but he's received plenty of honors.

Among them, a three-star review by the New York Times in 1995. He was the youngest chef to ever earn one.

And in 1999, a James Beard Foundation Award as a "rising star chef."

The Beard awards are so prestigious, they're considered by many to be the Oscars of the culinary world.

This year, to mark the Beard foundation's 20th anniversary, it is spotlighting its rising star chefs program, which recognizes talented chefs 30 and younger who display impressive talent and are likely to make a significant impact on the industry

Past nominees and winners of the award, including Samuelsson, will be highlighted at Monday night's ceremony, which The Early Show co-anchor Hannah Storm will emcee.

Samuelsson talked about it on the show Thursday.

He also served up some delicious, easy spring recipes, some of which you might find on the menu of his Manhattan restaurant, "Aquavit."

FOOD TERMINOLOGY

Kefta: Samuelsson is making lamb keftas. Kefta are Middle Eastern "spiced" meatballs. They're a wonderful summer street food item you'll find in Middle Eastern countries such as Morocco, Lebanon and Syria. He is preparing a lamb patty version of this dish and serving this with a tomato sauce. It's traditionally served with a yogurt or tomato sauce.

RECIPES

Apple Endive Salad with Pistachio Oil Dressing


Serves 4 to 6

For the pistachio oil:
1 cup shelled pistachios
1 cup olive oil
1 garlic clove, peeled
2 sprigs fresh thyme
5 thin slices prosciutto

For the pistachio oil dressing:
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1-1/2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
1-1/2 teaspoons honey
3-4 stalks celery
4 endives
4 Granny Smith apples
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1. Prepare the pistachio oil: Combine the nuts, olive oil, garlic, and thyme in a small saucepan and bring just to a simmer over low heat. Reduce the heat to the lowest possible level (use a heat diffuser if you have one) and let the oil infuse for 2 hours; do not allow the oil to bubble at all. Remove the oil from the heat and let steep for 2 hours at room temperature.
2. Strain the oil into a bowl. Discard the garlic and thyme, and transfer the nuts to paper towels to drain, then crush them lightly.
3. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 275ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
4. Arrange the prosciutto on the baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the prosciutto is very crisp. Let cool, then crumble into small pieces. Set aside.
5. Prepare the dressing: Whisk together 1/2 cup of the pistachio oil, the lime juice, vinegar, and honey in a small bowl.
6. Remove the tough strings from the celery stalks. Cut into 2-inch lengths, then cut into thin matchsticks. (You should have about 2 cups.) Cut the endives lengthwise in half, cut out the cores, and slice lengthwise into 1/2-inch-wide strips. Peel and core the apples, cut them into thin matchsticks, and toss with the lemon juice.
7. Combine the celery, endive, and apples in a salad bowl and toss with 2 to 4 tablespoons of the dressing. Sprinkle with the crushed nuts.
  • Brian Dakss

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