The Layers Viand

the viand . annotated menu “layers” . 5.12.07


Vertical Pear i’ve always enjoyed the bite of ginger mixed with the sweetness of fruit. this simple stack can be served as either a palate cleansing dessert or as an amuse that admixes ginger’s subtle bite, pear’s soft sweetness with the cool and refreshing texture of a yogurt foam.


 “un-de-layered” fava beans Favas are important to farmers because they add a lot of nitrogen to the soil. Spring is the season that they can be harvested and enjoyed. But the customary way of eating them requires two peelings. We were thrilled to learn this recipe for eating fava beans whole, pods and all, from Nate Appleman, chef of A16 in San Francisco. Toss the beans in olive oil and broil about ten minutes until slightly charred. Give them a squeeze of lemon or lime juice, and chili pepper or chili oil.


one eyed open face(roasted poblano peppers and feta, topped with a fried egg) This concoction started out as one of our favorite midnight snacks. The poblano peppers were harvested in the fall and then frozen raw to be prepared and eaten the rest of the year. We roast the frozen peppers simply by throwing them directly onto the gas flame on the stove. A nice variation to this dish is to add caramelized onions. This is the first time we are serving Jim Lahey’s famous, no knead 10 minute bread at the viand. Check out the video at:


Tropical Salad of Avocado & Papaya, layered with Greens (brightened by a lime & papaya seed dressing) Whenever I am in a hot and sunny place like Mexico or Hawaii, I find myself eating papaya with avocado for breakfast. The coolness of the papaya plays well with the creamy-ness of the avocado. I choose this refreshing salad to compliment the rich flavors of the Cochinita Pibil. The lettuces are Red Butter and Forellenschuss from Coleman farms in Carpenteria. Buying lettuces from them is like choosing a bouquet of flowers, they are all so beautiful. Herbs and arugula are from Maggie’s farms ( see zine article). The avocados are from Laura Ramirez of J.J’s Lone Daughter Ranch. They offer Zutanos, Fuerte and Bacon avocados during the fall and winter season. Currently only Haas is available, it is a year round variety. Soon we will be seeing the marvelous big Reeds.


Cochinita pibil with pickled onions (Yucatan style pork) Sybs loaned me this recipe she eyed in the LA Times. The marinade is one of the most interesting I’ve seen lately with a color that is a bright and deep ochre. The color comes from the achiote paste that contains annatto seeds among other ingredients for layers of flavor. Marinated overnight and cooked slow in banana leaves for 4 hours. The onion gets pickled for a couple of hours in vinegar and salt. This recipe is adapted from the dish they serve at Lotería Grill.


Trilateral mashed potatoes (yellow, purple, orange yams) The potatoes are from Weiser farms. This dish was imagined as a colorful addition to the layered theme of the viand. We’re as excited as you are to see what it actually tastes like.


Roasted Vegetable and Goat Cheese Terrine These seasonal vegetables are from the Echo Park Farmer’s Market (Fri 3-7 pm). Layers of roasted red beets, yellow beets, Mexican squash, spinach and herbed goat cheese.


Artichoke Asparagus Lasagna with Carmelized Onions and Fava Bean Sauce thoughts of lasagna typically float towards garfield munching down on a heavy concoction of oozing cheese, marinara sauce and some veggies thrown in for texture. in this variation, we focus instead on the complex and subtle interplay of flavours and textures of green vegetables, fava beans and caramelized onions for a lighter stacked treat.


Rolled & Tied – Stand Up Zucchini Ribbons – with mint, chili pepper and goat cheese The playful presentation is what originally drew me to this dish. It is featured on tonights menu, because you can find zucchini of all sizes and various colors at the farmer’s market right now. I choose small ones, because of the tender and buttery flavor they offer.


Mushroom Leek Strudel strudels come in all shapes and sizes ranging from sweet dessert strudels to savory dinner strudels. this sensual strudel holds richly sauteed mushrooms and leeks in a flaky soft crust. sauteeing the mushrooms in a soy, balsamic sugar sauce brings out the flavour of the mushrooms while adding sweet notes to the strudel crossing the sweet/savory boundary.


Italian cheese torte  Grasping through time to a cheese shop on Grant Street in North Beach, San Francisco, we resurrect an image from childhood. A very white layered “torte”, traditionally prepared with mascarpone, we used Syrian luban, which we made by draining Pavel’s Russian yogurt through a cheese cloth. Chef D’s exuberant culinary spirit insisted on replacing the traditional filling with cherry compote and fresh basil (really he wanted to use marmalade, but our citrus vendor brought cherries this week). served with our home-made flatbread


Rhubarb Napoleon baked strawberry, rhubarb, apple crisp has always been one of my favourite desserts. braised rhubarb has a clear and straightforward, but sophisticated flavour. by layering a lightly cooked rhubarb with vanilla flavoured mascarpone and crispy filo pieces to create a wonderfully textured napoleon. Oven-dried rhubarb strips augment the rhubarb flavour and add a further textural element. a mint syrup provides a touch of sweetness to counterbalance the slightly tart rhubarb sauce.