Sunday, December 12, 2010

Anise Bulb Salad with Yukon Gold Potato, Purple Peru Potato and Tarragon Vinaegrette






     I once sold a similar anise root salad at a high end seafood restaurant in a resort in Florida.  I added some colorful exotic potato slices to the recipe to give this salad some balance.  Many salads from the French Provence region have potatoes in the list of ingredients.  Salade Nicoise also requires potato as a garnishing ingredient.
     Since a few colorful Peruvian hybrid potatoes have finally been offered at markets, the plain white potato or bliss potato is no longer the only option.  Natural varieties of potatoes were hybridized by the Incans and earlier South American civilizations.  There are hundreds of ancient potato hybrids from Peru that have not been marketed at grocery stores as of yet.  One that I would like to see marketed is the Peruvian Calico Potato, because it is multi colored.  Calico potatoes look nice on a plate.
  
     Yukon Gold Potato and Purple Peru Potato:  
     Do not peel Yukon Gold or purple potatoes before boiling, or the color of the potato will fade.  the skin can be left on the potatoes for this salad. 
     Place 1 Yukon Gold Potato and 1 Purple Peru Potato in a pot.
     Cover the potatoes with water.
     Bring the water to a boil over high heat.
     Reduce the temperature to medium low heat.
     Simmer the potatoes, till they are cooked  just a little bit more than al dente.
     Cool the potatoes under cold running water.
     Cut the potatoes into thick slices and set them aside.

     Tarragon Vinaegrette Recipe: 
     Place 1 1/2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar in a small mixing bowl.
     Add 2 pinches of white pepper and sea salt.
     Add 1/2 of a minced garlic clove.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of dijon mustard.
     Add 2 teaspoons of finely chopped green onion.
     Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of chopped fresh tarragon.
     Slowly stream 4 tablespoons of olive oil, while whisking, to create a vinaegrette emulsion.
     Set the tarragon vinaegrette aside.

     Anise Bulb Salad with Yukon Gold Potato, Purple Peru Potato and Tarragon Vinaegrette:
     Toss a few slices of mushroom and mixed baby lettuce together with some of the tarragon vinaegrette in a mixing bowl.
     Mound the letuce mixture on the center of a plate.
     Garnish the plate with 4 thin bermuda onion slices.
     Garnish the plate with 4 plum tomato slices.
     Garnish the plate with 4 anise top green leaf sprigs.
     Arrange the purple and gold potato slices around the lettuce on top of the garnishes.
     Toss 1 small handful of thin sliced anise bulb with some of the tarragon vinaegrette dressing.
     Place the dressed anise slices on top of the lettuce.
     Drizzle a little bit of the the tarragon vinaegrette over the onions, tomatoes and potatoes on the plate.
  
     The exotic potatoes add a nice color and warmth to this salad.  The tarragon vinaegrette is perfect for the sliced anise.  The anise has a very nice delicate flavor.  This salad is delicious!

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