Salad Food Fest

Traditionally, a salad was considered a dish consisting of raw green leafy vegetables, often with other raw vegetables, served with a dressing. Today, there are few rules for what really defines the dish. Many salads don't even have to have lettuce and they can be either hot or cold, although most do have dressing. The selection of salad ingredients are endless -- creating a wide variety of options to please any manner of taste.

For The Early Show's Summer Food Fest, Union Pacific's Rocco DiSpirito starts with a sweet, savory and spicy trio -- prepared with fruit, while Campagna's Mark Strausman has some appetizing al fresco salads. Our third guest chef, Bill Telepan, from the JUdson Grill, rounds out the ensemble with three flavorful salads that don't have to be cooked.

The following are their recipes:

ROCCO DISPIRITO
Union Pacific
111 East 22nd Street (b/w Lexington Ave. & Park Ave. S.)
212-995-8500

Grilled Apricots With Sangria Jelly

to come...

Shredded Duck With Summer Berries & Wild Tarragon
(Serves 4)

Ingredients:
1 whole white Peking duck
salt and pepper
8 whole peeled shallots
1 handful red currants
1/2 pint blackberries
1 pint whole strawberries, halved
3 tbs. red wine vinegar
2 tbs. brown sugar
4 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
2 oz Texas tarragon
2 oz sliced chervil
2 oz thinly sliced chives
2 bunches of scallions, greens only, cut into one inch pieces

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees
  2. Season duck inside and out (with salt and pepper)
    *Put in oven, in roasting pan, and cook for 6 hours. Fat will collect in
    bottom of pan.
    *During last hour of cooking, place shallots in bottom of pan. These will
    roast in the fat.
    *Remove the duck and let it cool.
    *Remove meat from bone and shred with fork.
    *To make salad, combine berries with vinegar and sugar.
    *Let sit for one hour.
    *Pour berry vinegar off.
    *Whisk olive oil with vinegar. Season with salt and pepper.
    *Toss duck with berries, herbs, and greens.

    Red Curry Watermelon & Calamari Salad

    Ingredients:
    2 tbs. corn oil (1 tbs. plus 1 tbs.)
    2 tbs. red curry paste
    1-1/2 cups watermelon juice (use a juicer or blend in a blender and strain
    pulp)
    12 oz fresh calamari, cut in rings
    8 oz baby arugula
    salt and pepper

    *In a saucepan, heat oil. Add curry paste and saute 2 minutes.
    *Add watermelon juice and simmer until thickened, about 20 minutes.
    *Heat a large saute pan and add remaining oil over high heat.
    *Season calamari with salt and pepper, and add to pan. Cook quickly, until just opaque, about 2 minutes.
    *Add watermelon sauce and toss to coat.
    *Serve on top of baby arugula.

    MARK STRAUSMAN
    Campagna
    24 East Street (b/w B'way & Park Ave. S.)
    212-460-0900
    &
    Fred's at Barneys NY
    10 E. 61st St. (b/w 5th & Madison Aves.)
    212-833-2200
    ========================

    PANZANELLA (Serves 6 to 10)

    Ingredients:
    1/2 loaf 1- or 2-day-old Tuscan or other dense, crusty peasant bread (see below)
    1/4 cup red wine vinegar
    8 large, ripe tomatoes cut into 1/2-inch dice
    1 large cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and sliced 1/4-inch thick
    1 small red onion, peeled, halved, and thinly sliced
    6 scallions, thinly sliced
    1 cup washed and dried basil leaves
    1/3 to 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper

    *Cut the crusts off the bread and discard. Cut the bread into 1/2-inch cubes. Spread out on a tray and set aside for 1 to 3 hours to dry out.
    *Transfer the bread cubes to a large mixing bowl and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of the vinegar. Toss well. The bread should be wet but not dripping or soaked; add more vinegar slowly until the bread is just wet.
    *Add the tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, and scallion to the bowl and mix gently.
    *With your hands, tear the basil leaves into small pieces and add to the bowl.
    *Drizzle with the olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, and mix again.
    *Serve immediately or refrigerate up to 4 hours before serving. Before serving, taste for salt and pepper. Serve slightly chilled.

    PASTA AL PESTO

    Ingredients:
    1 box of fuccilli pasta
    1-cup pesto sauce
    2 cups cut green beans cooked
    1 cup diced cooked potatoes
    Salt to taste
    ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
    ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

    *In a pot of boiling salted water cook the pasta until it's al dente.
    *In a mixing bowl add the pesto sauce, cooked green beans, potatoes, add the pasta and season with the olive oil, parmesan cheese and salt and serve.

    PASTA CAPRESE

    Ingredients:
    Serves 4 to 8
    1 box farfalle- bowtie pasta
    2large, ripe tomatoes
    2 Yellow tomatoes
    2 air loon tomatoes
    8 ounces very fresh lightly salted mozzarella cheese
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
    4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    12-16 whole leaves fresh basil
    ¼ lb minced proscuitto

    *Cook pasta in a pot of salted boiling water until aldente.
    *While cooking, dice all the tomatoes and place in a salad bowl. Cut mozzarella into the same size cubes as the tomatoes. Place together in the salad bowl.
    *Add extra virgin olive oil, basil, salt and pepper
    *When the pasta is ready, add to the salad bowl hot and mix together. *Add procuitto as garnish and serve on the buffet.


    BILL TELEPAN
    JUdson Grill
    152 W. 52nd St. (b/w 6th &7th Aves.)
    212-582-5252

    Market Vegetable Salad With Creamy Lemon Vinaigrette
    (Serves 4 Entrées or 6 Appetizers)

    For the creamy lemon vinaigrette:
    1 egg yolk
    2 oz lemon juice
    6 oz extra virgin olive oil
    2 oz heavy cream
    Salt and pepper to taste

    *Whisk together the yolk and lemon juice
    *Season with some salt and pepper
    *Continue to whisk while slowly drizzling in the olive oil and cream. Correct seasoning if needed.

    For basic vinaigrette:
    1 Tbsp lemon juice
    1 tsp red wine vinegar
    1 tsp mustard
    6 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    Salt and pepper to taste

    *Whisk together the lemon juice, vinegar, and mustard with salt and pepper.
    *Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while continuing to whisk. Correct seasoning.

    For the vegetables:
    6 cups mixed vegetables
    - fava beans: raw, shelled
    - peas: raw, shelled
    - carrots: peeled and thinly sliced
    - radishes: thinly sliced
    - beets: cooked, peeled, quartered and thinly sliced
    - zucchini: thinly sliced
    - sugar snap peas: bias cut
    - asparagus: blanched and chopped
    - wax beans: blanched and cut
    (or whatever other vegetables are in season, cut into small pieces)
    4 1/2 tsp mixed chopped herbs (chives, parsley, basil, chervil)
    1 cucumber, sliced paper thin
    1 small bulb fennel, cleaned and sliced paper thin
    1 1/2 oz mesclun
    Salt and pepper to taste

    *Overlap cucumber slices to make a circle pattern in the center of each plate.
    *Dress the mixed vegetables with 6 oz of the creamy lemon vinaigrette. *Mix in chopped herbs, season with salt and pepper, and mold on top of the cucumber circles.
    *Dress the fennel with 3 Tbsp of the basic vinaigrette and place on top of the mixed vegetables.
    *Dress the mesclun with the rest of the basic vinaigrette. Season, and arrange mesclun on top of the fennel.
    *Drizzle the plates with the remaining creamy lemon vinaigrette. Serve.

    Marinated Cherry Tomatoes With Heirloom Tomatoes (Serves 4)

    Ingredients:
    2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved vertically (stem to tip)
    1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
    4 tablespoons packed oregano leaves
    12 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    6 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
    4 medium heirloom tomatoes

    *In a small bowl, toss tomatoes with 1/2 teaspoon salt and let sit 1 hour (they will slowly release their juices).
    *Make a little mound with the oregano on your chopping board, pour remaining 1 teaspoon salt on top, and mince very finely (the salt helps break up the sturdy leaves and allows them to release their oils).
    *Transfer oregano to a bowl and add 4 tablespoons oil and 2 tablespoons vinegar.
    *When tomatoes are ready, stir in remaining 8 tablespoons oil, 4 tablespoons vinegar, and oregano mixture.
    *Take the heirloom tomatoes and cut them horizontally into thick slices. Season each slice and stack them back to shape them like each individual tomato.
    *Place them onto 4 plates, spoon over cherry tomatoes onto heirloom tomatoes.
    *Serve with shaved dried Monterey Jack cheese

    Spicy Kohlrabi & Cucumber Ceviche With Muskmelon & Cilantro (Serves 4 as a first course)

    "When I first started cooking, I learned that basic vinaigrette is one part acid and two parts oil. Then I started throwing some mustard in it. Then, in the 1980s, everyone was putting stocks or juices in it; vinaigrette was considered a sauce. We'd use tomato stock for tomato vinaigrette, for instance, or braised-fennel liquid for a fennel vinaigrette. When I started thinking about this recipe, I thought melon juice would be great, but with what? Cucumbers go well with melons-when you think about the flavors, they sort of taste the same-so I put those in. I'm a kohlrabi guy, and I'm always trying to think of a way to use this knobby-looking member of the cabbage family; cooked, it's sweet, and raw, it's crisp and a little bitter. So I had cucumber, melon, and maybe a little cilantro for spice-and that made me think of ceviche. Marinating kohlrabi would be like marinating the fish. And it would be great for a vegetarian entrée."

    "If you want some seafood in this, make the marinade in step 1 without adding the kohlrabi just yet; instead, add halved, peeled shrimp to the marinade and marinate 2 hours, then add the kohlrabi and keep going with the recipe." -- Bill Telepan

    Ingredients:
    1 medium kohlrabi (about 8 ounces), peeled, cut in half, then into 1/8-inch-thick slices on mandoline to form half circles
    8 tablespoons lemon juice (from about 4 lemons) 3 oz.
    8 tablespoons lime juice (from about 6 limes) I used 4
    1/4 red onion, cut in half, ends trimmed then sliced from top to bottom paper thin
    1 jalapeño chili, sliced paper-thin on mandoline
    1 muskmelon or cantaloupe (3 pounds)
    1 cucumber, peeled
    2 tablespoons julienned cilantro, plus 8 whole sprigs
    2 tablespoons chopped parsley
    1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    Salt

    1. In a medium bowl, combine kohlrabi, lemon and lime juices, red onion, and chili and stir to combine. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic down onto the surface of the mixture to keep out air and to make sure the vegetables are submerged in the liquid. Marinate mixture for 2 hours in refrigerator.

    2. Halve and seed melon, peel and cut one half into chunks. Put chunks in a blender and blend till smooth. Push through a fine strainer with a ladle. (You should get about 1 1/2 cups of melon juice; add a little bit of water if you need to.) Cut the remaining half-melon into quarters peel then slice across the quarters into 1/8-inch slices. Chill juice and melon slices separately.

    3. Halve cucumbers lengthwise, scoop out seeds, and slice crosswise into 1/8-inch-thick slices. Pour chilled marinated kohlrabi into a strainer set over a bowl and transfer from strainer to a separate, larger bowl. In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup of the marinade with oil and chilled melon juice to make a vinaigrette. Add cucumbers and herbs to bowl of kohlrabi and pour vinaigrette over vegetables. Mix ceviche to combine. Season with salt to taste.

    4. Arrange chilled melon slices in a 3-inch circle in the bottom of a shallow bowl. Top with ceviche and pour 1/3 to 1/2 cup of the vinaigrette into the bottom of each bowl. Garnish with a couple of cilantro sprigs and serve.

    Wine Note: A dry crisp white with mineral notes would be a good match for this diversely flavored dish. Thalassitis, made from the Assyrtiko grape grown in Santorini, Greece, from Gai'a Wines is perfect; a fresh Sevre et Maine Muscadet, from France's Loire Valley, would also be appropriate.
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