I’m sitting on our porch watching the afternoon cruise on by. We are counting the days here in SLO. I cannot believe it. It has been a really crazy few weeks. Seeing friends, family, hosting dinners at the casa, etc. It has been so great and we feel so loved. Thank you San Luis. Thank you for everything. I do not think I will post the final farewell quite yet but I am feeling blessed.
I tried on some wedding dresses this weekend while down visiting the parents. It was good fun. A mom, a sis and a best friend. It doesn’t get much better than that. Oh and did I mention some Champagne and kale salads? Yum. You have to eat kale salad when you are trying on wedding gowns. Right? I haven’t quite found THE dress. But we’re close. ;) I will keep you posted.
I also made a really yum salad recently (actually just last night, the days are really running together right now). J and I have had two really good smoked trout salads recently and I have been meaning to play with one. Last night our most beautiful friends of the most stunning Cass House Inn & Restaurant came for dinner so I decided to make a go at the salad. Both interpretations we recently experienced while traveling at these restaurants… I would frequent this restaurant if we lived closer and I plan on frequenting this restaurant once we are official SF residents (!!!). The feedback from J on my version of the trout salad was great so I thought I would share here. :)
1 large head of dandelion greens, discard the thick stems and roughly chop the leaves
1 medium sized bulb of fennel, sliced very thin (I highly recommend using a mandoline but you can certainly use a really sharp knife)
4 radishes, sliced very thin (again with a mandoline or super sharp knife)
2 ripe avocados, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 grapefruit (I used ruby red), peel and pith removed, cut into 1 inch pieces
Half pound smoked trout (about one small fillet) peeled from the skin and torn into small bite-sized pieces. I bought the smoked trout at the fish counter at Whole Foods. You can check most any fish market and you can really use any smoked fish here. We have one awesome place to buy smoked fish out in Cayucos; I highly recommend!
2 small lemons (zest and juice)
1/3 cup of good quality extra-virgin olive oil
pepper (freshly ground!)
Make your dressing first by having your lemon juice and zest in a small bowl and slowly whisking in your olive oil. Add salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. This is a tart dressing (I think it pairs well with the smokey fish) so you may want to add a touch of honey or agave to cut some of the acid. Up to you.
Next toss your roughly chopped dandelion greens in a medium bowl with a couple tablespoon of the dressing. Gently massage the greens a bit. Dandelion greens are bitter but the severity depends on the time of year. If your greens seem extra bitter right now, massage a little more and possibly add an extra tiny pinch of salt (it will help break them down more). Now layer the greens on your serving platter.
Toss the thinly sliced fennel with a tablespoon of the dressing as well then layer the fennel down the middle of the greens.
On each side of the fennel, layer the rest of the ingredients (see photo) except for the fish.
Arrange the torn pieces of fish across the top of your ‘plattered’ salad and pour the rest of the dressing all over the salad.
Serves 4 as a main dish.
I personally love salads on a platter; it is much easier to grab a little of all the components while serving without needing to ‘toss’ the salad. Plus, it looks so pretty! The only catch is that you need to toss some of the ingredients with a bit of the dressing first.
Pair this dish with the Domaine de la Solitude Cotes du Rhone 2012 Rose. It is 100% Cinsault from one of my very favorite Rhone producers and it is gorgeous! Light light pinkish salmony color and the faintest spicy flavor with big bright aromatics, I love this wine! And for the price of around $14 you really cannot beat it. I guess the one problem would be that it is difficult to find. But what the heck, just order it online. Enjoy! xo -k