Last Venice Viand


viand … 18 august 2007 … annotated menu

1 Amuse: Gorgonzola crostini with seared greens, raisins & pine-nuts… This version is done with kale, but you could easily use other greens, such as chard or spinach. The Gorgonzola is a Piccante, which is from bought at Bay Cities Deli on Lincoln Boulevard, a great source for food from all over the world. S

2 Watermelon salad … Watermelons from Greg at Rocky Canyon Farm, who also supplies our meat. Arugula from Maggie’s Farm. Citrus from Sycamore Canyon Ranch, Ricotta Salata cheese from Bay Cities Deli on Lincoln just south of Broadway in Santa Monica. Recipe from   DV

3 Summer roasted vegetables: The recipe is in the zine. Huge $1 zucchinis from Gutierrez Farm, onions and peppers from Kia Farm.  DV

4 Lamb Tagine taking a nap on a bed of couscous … This recipe never fails to delight. Tagines are known for having lots of flavors melded instead of just one thing that stands out. It has marinated overnight and cooked for 3 hours. I preserved the lemons for one week. T

5 Date & orange salad with feta and pistachios … This sounded like a nice compliment to the lamb tagine. The dates are organic Khadrawy from Bautista Family Ranch in Mecca, CA. The oranges are from Gless Ranch in Riverside. The pistachios are grown at a ranch in Santa Barbara. The feta is a Tunesian style sheep’s feta from Mom’s Products in Stanton, CA.(All vendors at Farmer’s Markets.) S

6 Potato-onion gratin … Starring those buttery Weiser Farms potatoes with three types of onions plus garlic in supporting roles. This dish is meant to be served hot out of the oven but in this weather let’s try it cold.  T

7 Radicchio salad… we cribbed this from Barbonet in the East Village in NYC. it was supposed to be radicchio and fennel, but fennel is out of season (summer is too hot for it), so we substituted Persian cucumbers and tarragon, which has an anise flavor. (Radiccio and tarragon from Maggie’s Farm.) Barbonet used pecorino and kalamata olives, but we used our favorite olve, the castel vetrano available from Bay Cities deli, but even better ones can come from Joan’s on Third.  DV

8 Sweet potato on pear with cinnamon feta… this friday we had to find an inspiration for our 5th dish at the farmers market and we were drawn to huge, beautiful sweet potatoes at the Kia farmstand. in order not to make this dish too heavy and wintery, we serve the sweet potatoes on a slice of pear from Jim at Flora Bella farms with some tangy French Valbreso feta mixed with cinnamon. DV

9 Pan seared halloumi with fresh hot strawberry jam … I tossed a pint of sliced strawberries into a pan and cooked until they are jammy. No sugar necessary. A nice pairing with the salty halloumi cheese.  T

10 Vanilla Ice Cream doused with plum & bumble berry coulis … Plums are gloriously in season right now. This coulis is made with three kinds: the deep ruby red Elephant Heart Plum, the lusciously scarlet red Flavor King Pluot (which is a cross of 75% plum & 25% apricot) and the Emerald Baut Pluot, which is has a greenish-yellow skin and yellow flesh. A mix of berries is known as a “bumble-berry”. Tonight this consists of blackberries and blueberries, which lend a nice depth to the plum sauce. I then rounded out the flavor with a balsamic vinegar reduction. S

11 Dessert on Toast … if viand desserts are a bit too rich, we enjoy them for breakfast, spread on buttered toast. Without Parag’s decadent chocolate cake, we made do with Martha Stewart’s brownies. Made with Lily’s eggs, of course. DV

Refresco: “Better than Air-Conditioning”… Pomplemo is an Italian grapefruit soda, which is pretty nice all by itself. I like to make it blush with a splash of Campari, an Italian bitter that adds a nice complexity to this drink. Serve on lots of ice & adorn with maraschino cherry if you are in the mood. S