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FARINGWELL - May, 2013
English Pea Salad
Chef Rachel Sillcocks, Range Restaurant, San Francisco, CA

Range Restaurant Chef Rachel Sillcocks brings Iacopi English Spring Peas to the table in a composed salad. Now approaching her first year anniversary at the helm of Michelin-starred Range, Chef Rachel shows us how to make this layered dish with its delicate pesto base and tarragon-buttermilk vinaigrette possible year round.


English Pea Salad with Easter Egg Radishes, San Andreas Cheese,
Buttermilk Tarragon Vinaigrette and Pea Pesto

“Spring brings us English Peas, a legume with a delicate flavor and unique versatility. Here I’ve used the peas as both the salad’s main ingredient and also as a pesto base. The yield on the pesto base is larger than is needed for the salad. Try it on fish, chicken or other salads. It holds well in the refrigerator for up to a week and freezes well for a month.”— Chef Rachel Sillcocks

For the English Pea Pesto

Yield:  3 cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch Fresh Tarragon
  • ½ bunch Fresh Parsley
  • 1 cup Spring English Peas
  • ½ cup San Andreas Cheese
  • ½ cup Olive Oil
  • Salt/pepper to taste

 Technique:

  • Blanche peas quickly, pour into a strainer and plunge quickly into an ice bath to stop the cooking.  Remove and set aside, blotting to remove any excess water.
  • Combine Tarragon, Parsley and half the Olive Oil in a food processor.
  • Pulse until the herbs are roughly chopped.
  • With the food processor running, add the remaining oil.
  • Season with salt/pepper to taste. Set Aside

For the Buttermilk-Tarragon Vinaigrette:

Yield: 2 cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 small garlic glove, microplaned
  • 1/3 cup Buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup EITHER Champagne/Sparkling OR Cava Vinegar
  • 2 Egg Yolks
  • 3 cups Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp. Black Pepper
  • ¼ tsp Cayenne
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 bunch Fresh Tarragon, finely chopped

Technique:

  • Combine the garlic, buttermilk and vinegar and let sit for at least 15 minutes.
  • Place the garlic-buttermilk-vinegar mixture, along with the egg yolks in the food processor or blender.  Puree until smooth.
  • While the blender is running, SLOWLY dribble the olive oil into the machine to emulsify the olive oil.
  • Finish the dressing with the pepper, cayenne and salt.
  • Transfer the dressing to a blow and mix in the chopped tarragon by hand.
  • Set Aside until you are ready to plate the salad.

To Plate the Salad:

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 lbs English Spring Peas, including stems and tendrils
  • 1 bunch Easter Egg Radishes
  • ½ lb. San Andreas Cheese
  • 1-2 spoons of English pea pesto for each plate
  • Buttermilk-Tarragon Vinaigrette
  • Salt/Pepper to taste

Technique:

  • Rinse and dry peas, stems and tendrils and set aside.
  • Slice Easter Egg Radishes. Set aside.
  • Slice thinly San Andreas cheese into two inch squares.
  • Spread a spoonful of the pea pesto over each plate.
  • Layer the English peas, Easter egg radishes and four slices of the San Andreas Cheese to each salad.
  • Dabble with Buttermilk Tarragon Dressing.
  • Season with salt/pepper to taste.  Enjoy!

 

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