Posts Tagged ‘Celery’

White Salad

January 8, 2011

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Usually around the first or second week of December, the lettuce farmers in Eastern Washington would stop bringing the greens we needed for the Dahlia’s mixed green salad. This change signaled the change of seasons, but also for us, the return of the white salad. Regulars at the Dahlia would come back just to order this tasty mix of readily available sturdy winter vegetables with a dressing of heavy truffle oil,salty parmesan and tangy lemon juice.

I personally love this salad because the vegetables are hardy enough to sit in a salad bowl at the table without going limp and droopy like a salad of leafy greens tends to do. The greatness of the salad rests largely on the white truffle oil and finding a great white truffle can sometimes be difficult.

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Francesco’s sugo al pomodoro

May 14, 2010

We poured flour onto the wooden counter and formed a well in the center. We cracked three eggs into the middle of the well and scrambled the eggs with a fork. We then kneaded the flour and eggs for 10 minutes into a smooth dough, and wrapped the ball of dough in plastic wrap to rest for 30 minutes. It occurred to me that this was the perfect time to ask Francesco, a true Italian, why Italian’s refer to this pasta making process as “like making love to a woman”? He looked at me, somewhat surprised, and said in his deep Italian accented English “well, I think it’s obvious.”

Francesco’s Italian eatery, Olio Pane Vino, has been open for a few years now. In the dozens of times we have eaten there, the daily chalkboard menu has listed the same pasta dish only three or four times. “Did you learn to cook from your grandmother?” I asked him once. “No, I left my home in Sicily when I was very young”, he recalled. “I was broke and had to learn to cook whatever I could afford, whatever I could find.” Now Francesco spends his time finding and importing to France great Italian products. Recently I had an Amatriciana type sauce made with a spicy sausage from Sicily. “The guy makes it in Sicily then drives around Italy in his tiny van selling it.” “I convinced him to come to Paris so I could buy some.” The sauce was delicious, smokey and spicy with hints of paprika.

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