A great salad can bring a meal together, particularly now that the days are getting a little longer and we are looking forward to the spring ahead. The chefs at the St.Bernard Hotel in Taos Ski Valley serve wonderful refreshing vibrant salads every day. Take a leaf from Cuisine St. Bernard and brighten up meals with these original new recipes. (www.cuisinestbernard.com)
Avocado salad with sweet red onions & lime
The sweet red onion and the zingy dressing can be used to accompany other dishes. Chef Chris White at the St. Bernard has ‘deconstructed’ his salad recipe to make it easier to prepare the ingredients separately. A perfect starter.
Preparation and marinating 1 hour. Serves 6-8.
For the sweet red onion garnish
1/2 red onion, very thinly sliced,
(on a mandolin if you have one)
rice wine vinegar to cover
Cover the sliced onions with rice vinegar. Leave for 1 hour before using. If you like, cover and refrigerate for up to 3 weeks.
For the avocado salad
2-3 ripe avocadoes, halved
juice 1 lime
Slice each halved avocado into four. Remove the skin and put the flesh in a bowl, sprinkle with the salt and lime juice. Toss gently and cover.
For the dressing
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2/3 cup extra virgin, first cold press olive oil
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
pinch of red chile, preferably Chimayo
1-2 tsp soy sauce
Juice and finely grated zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
1 garlic clove, minced
Leaves from a few sprigs fresh mint, basil or rosemary
Combine all ingredients and blend. Store leftover dressing in a jar in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. Shake before use.
To finish the salad
4 generous handfuls of baby arugula leaves, washed and drained
Put 3 tablespoons dressing in a shallow bowl. Add the arugula, and toss gently. Add the avocado and the onion, and finish off with a little more dressing (if needed) and a crank of black pepper.
High in protein, gluten-free, and a good source of fiber, magnesium and iron, quinoa was a staple of the pre-Columbian Andean diet long before it became the darling of trendy nutritionists. The St. B’s colorful garnish of sautéed snow peas and carrot matchsticks turns it into a class act and a lovely side dish. Serve as a warm main course salad with fresh mixed baby leaves.
Preparation and cooking 20 minutes. Serves 4-6.
4 cups light stock or water
2 cups quinoa, rinsed
2 teaspoons salt
Snow peas and carrot julienne (see following recipe)
1. In a saucepan, bring the stock or water to a boil over high heat. Add the quinoa and salt, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
2. If some liquid remains, drain it away or serve a wetter quinoa. To finish, fold in the snow peas and carrot julienne. Adjust the seasoning before serving.
Snow peas and carrot julienne
Preparation and cooking 15 minutes. Serves 4-6.
3 tablespoons salt
4 cups snow peas
ice cubes, for chilling
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 good-sized carrots, peeled, quartered, then cut into matchsticks
salt and pepper
1. In a saucepan, bring 4 cups water to a boil with 1 tablespoon salt. Add the snow peas and blanch for 2 minutes in the boiling water. Strain. Tip into a large bowl of chilled water. Strain again.
2. Heat a sauté pan, melt three-quarters of the butter over medium-high heat. Tip the carrots into the bubbling butter, spread in well, season lightly. Stir for 2 minutes. Tip the carrots onto a plate and reserve while you finish cooking the snow peas.
3. Return the pan to medium-high heat and add the rest of the butter. Spread in the snow peas, stir for 2 minutes, and take off the heat. Adjust the seasoning before serving.
Recipes reprinted with permission from Cuisine St. Bernard by Marie-Pierre Moine and Jean Mayer (www.cuisinestbernard.com)..