Thursday, January 27, 2011

Busting Out the Food Processor

I love Bosc pears. But that's only part of why I wanted to try this salad from Tyler Florence @ Food Network. Another reason was that I got to bust out the food processor, which is always exciting for me. The dressing is really what sets this salad apart, but the choice of greens themselves is very important, too. I think the dressing requires leaves with more density and flavor themselves, since it's thick and has a strong flavor.

When I first finished the dressing (puréed pear and shallot with honey, lemon, and oil) and tried it, I was pretty skeptical. Well, I thought I'd done something wrong, like substitute olive oil for grapeseed or had too big a half-lemon. There was a flavor there besides the pear and onion that was fairly strong and seemed out of place. But when I tried the salad altogether, leaves with dressing, it was really excellent! The man's a genius! Thanks to the strong presence of the greens themselves, the flavors really came together well.

Shallots: sliced. Pear: diced. Ready to sauté

Sautéing before puréeing

Salad done

It's hard to see the dressing in this photo since it's been tossed into the salad. And I skipped on the cheese and nuts since they make my skin act up.

Actually, I made another accidental substitution (and dropped the beet greens since they didn't have them at my local grocery store and I figured there would already be way more greens than I needed). I picked up collard greens instead of chard since my local grocery store apparently put Collard Greens where the label clearly says "Green Chard." Also in the section that says "Rainbow Chard." I guess I should have known by looking at the leaves, but I've only used chard once or twice before and never Collard Greens. On the plus side, Collard Greens are a heavy leaf with good flavor in and of themselves, and fit in perfectly with the salad! I wanted to be sure it was okay to eat them raw and did a Google search--I don't know what all the people going on about its being "extremely bitter" and "very tough without cooking." Just get rid of the stem and you're fine for toughness. And bitter? Please. Not at all. No really, I couldn't taste the bitterness at all. Eat some 苦瓜 ku gua (Bitter Melon).

A side note: I'm terrible at timing how long to steam fish. It always takes a lot longer than I think it needs. Also next time I'm putting the flavoring ingredients under the fish 'cause that's apparently how I should have been doing it all this time.

Steamed kingfish with black mushrooms, scallions, and ginger. Why kingfish? Because it was cheap and I'm poor. I don't know anything about kingfish.


  1. I've never really liked Tyler Florence's show, but, boy, the man knows how to cook. Glad you liked his recipe! I think the collards were a perfect (if inadvertent) substitution (love those greens). I'm with you on the bitter melon - had it for the first time in Beijing this past summer. I think I can still taste it in my mouth now ... yeeps.

  2. Heheh, can't say I've seen it, myself. I don't get to watch enough food network. I do love the interwebs for putting so much information at our fingertips, though! :)