Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Party-In-Your-Mouth Salad: Yesterday’s Mavens, Today’s Foodies
I have another new cookbook release to tell you about! Yes, I am officially a cookbook junkie. I treat cookbooks like novels, reading them page by page and immersing myself in the recipes, stories and photos. You can learn deeply about a culture or time in history by reading about what was being cooked and why. And then you get to create and eat the food!
This new book, Yesterday’s Mavens, Today’s Foodies, is a treasure of recipes and stories compiled by the Washington State Jewish Historical Society. It is full of history and anecdotes passed from generation to generation. The recipes are classic (Mama’s Gefilte Fish), intriguing (Blind Date Cake) and contemporary (Mojitos for a Crowd). You will find quite a range here: Ashkenazic and Sephardic, old and new, sweet and savory.
I had the pleasure of being involved in a small way ... if you turn the book over I am pictured on the back cover with Katherine Scharhon, a Seattle cook known for her delectable recipes. Together we are “yesterday’s maven and today’s foodie.” It was an honor and thrill when my friend, Leah, asked me to take part (and fun to have my first photo shoot!).
A lovely event was held to celebrate the launch of this new collection. Leah, who is an incredible chef and caterer, cooked a wide array of dishes from the cookbook. Pumpkin borekas, quinoa tabouli, dolmas, zucchini quesado, faux chopped liver and herring and beet salad ... and the desserts! Oh my. The dish that I went back for seconds of (perhaps even thirds) was the Party-In-Your-Mouth Salad. You just have to try something with a name like that, right?
This colorful salad is sweet and tangy, chewy and crunchy. The flavors come alive together and create, well – a party. Wild rice is combined with dried apricots, almonds, currants, dried cranberries (pomegranate seeds could be marvelous, too), garlic and red onion and dressed with a zippy vinaigrette. I recommend trying this one as a side on your holiday table or, since it multiplies easily, anytime you are feeding a crowd.
From Yesterday’s Mavens, Today’s Foodies
Contributed by Iantha Sidell
Serves 4 (scaled down - original recipe serves 16)
1 cup wild rice
3 1/2 cups chicken broth (I used vegetable broth)
3/4 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/4 cup currants
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup almonds, toasted and chopped
1/2 cup red onion, finely diced
1/2 cup Italian parsley, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup tarragon vinegar (I used red wine vinegar)
3/4 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup olive oil
Cook the rice in the broth for about 45 minutes, until the rice is soft and kernels pop open. Transfer the rice to a bowl and let cool.
Add the apricots, cranberries, currants, cranberries, almonds, red onion, parsley and garlic to the rice and stir gently.
Combine the vinegar and mustard in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in the olive oil. Toss the rice salad with your preferred amount of dressing, season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.