Alineaphile

My adventures recreating Alinea Restaurant’s food at home

SALAD, Red Wine Vinaigrette

Alinea Recipe, pages 200-201.

Salad is sometimes thought of as a digestive aid, often times served after a large meal. This recipe from Alinea Restaurant takes the common side salad and transforms it into the totally unexpected texture of a palate-cleanser (like the small serving of sorbet or granita you’ll get during a multi-course tasting menu).

It is one of the simplest recipes in the book, but yet, as some of my friends have said, one of the most unnerving and thought provoking.

Lettuce Ice
I washed a huge portion of the greens in the sink and drained.

Then juiced in the Breville Juice Fountain Elite 800JEXL juicer, which made quick work of it.

Strained through a chinois into an oiled sheet tray, then froze. The recipe calls for some salt, which I left out.

After it had frozen, removed and scraped with a fork.

Eeek! Metal-on-metal is like fingernails on a chalkboard to me.

The visual equivalent: being forced to stare at any Leroy Neiman painting for any length of time…

Ingredients
Fresh spinach leaves
Fresh arugula
Fresh romaine lettuce
Diamond Crystal kosher salt

Red Wine Vinegar Ice
I poured some Bliss 9-year old Sherry vinegar and red wine vinegar into a plastic container, and froze. (Thought the taste would be a little more interesting.) The recipe calls for a touch of salt, which I omitted. After it had frozen, I removed the container from the freezer and scraped with a fork. Note: the vinegar did not freeze rock-solid, but had a more Slusho! type consistency, perfect for this application.

Ingredients
Red wine vinegar
Murray River sea salt

To Assemble and Serve
I added a large spoonful lettuce ice (or should that be “lettice”?) to the bottom of a stemless wine glass (US$1.95 each, Crate&Barrel). Then a small spoon of the vinegar ice. Topped with some extra virgin olive oil, salt and fresh ground pepper.

Yum! Tastes like a salad granita.

Ingredients
Olive oil
Murray River sea salt
Fresh ground black pepper

Equipment
Salter digital scale
Measuring bowl
Breville Juice Fountain Elite 800JEXL juicer, from Bed, Bath & Beyond
Chinois or sieve
Sheet tray
Plastic container

Serveware
Rolo 5oz shot glass, from Crate&Barrel

Yields: More than eight servings, at least 16 if you do the whole recipe

Next, CARAMEL POPCORN, Liquified

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2 Responses to SALAD, Red Wine Vinaigrette

  1. Viv Casson says:

    Dear Author

    You have two Chefs on the South Coast of England slightly in love with you 🙂

    Bought the Alinea Book and after a few eye crossing moments, got to grips with it. Discovered your website and cant believe you have done all the donkey work for us!

    Bravo and keep it up.

    Thanks
    Viv Casson

  2. Thanks Viv!

    The highest of compliments. You know, I’ve always maintained that “the fastest way to a woman’s heart — is through her stomach.”

    😉

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