On Food: Recipes for springtime
As I was welcoming winter — March 1–2 — by shoveling snow, I was thinking about March happenings and how to tie them together.
There’s spring, National Nutrition Month and the appearance of Chef Glenn Smith of the Aspen Culinary School at Edesia, a celebration of fine food and spirits on March 18 at The Wine Country Inn.
After some research, I learned that Smith, resident chef at the Aspen Culinary School, is also a professional fly fisherman, a stand up comedian, restores vintage motorcycles and is a recognized trivia expert.
What is this multi-talented man’s approach to foods? I asked him for a couple spring recipes with a healthy twist and Smith said, “I find that spring dishes should be simple and not overworked.”
While he doesn’t deny the use of butter and cream, he’s open to cooking on the lighter side. You’ll see this “lighter side” in his following recipes.
By the way, Smith loves Palisade peaches and will cook only with them. Smart man.
For information on Edesia, go to http://www.edesiapalisade.com.
Glenn Smith’s Chickpea and Cucumber Salad
1 can drained organic chickpeas
1 English cucumber, seeded/large diced
1 pint cherry tomatoes cut in half (If yellow cherry tomatoes are available, then go 50/50.)
4 stalks celery, medium-sized diced
2 ears sweet corn, raw and cut off the cob
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped mint
Combine all ingredients/ chill.
1/3 cup seasoned rice wine vinegar
2 limes (juice and zest)
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup grape seed oil
Sea salt or Kosher salt
In small bowl, combine vinegar, juice and zest.
Heat honey to liquefy, then whisk into citrus mix; vigorously whisk oil in next.
Toss dressing with cool chopped vegetables and chickpeas. Season to taste with salt, serve cold.
Smith says: The beauty of this dish is that citrus is a great substitute for salt. That is why you season at the last, it may not need it. Pre-seasoning may make it too salty when everything is mixed.
Smith suggests red bell pepper as a substitute if fresh sweet corn isn’t available.
Dixie note: I’ll try roasted or thawed frozen corn or thawed frozen corn with red or orange bells; about 1 cup corn, half a cup red or orange bell peppers. This recipe allows for a little creative freedom. I could also see this served on a bed of spring greens. As you know, I love rice vinegar. Don’t substitute!
Glenn Smith’s Smoked Salmon “Tartar”
This is a great little appetizer that is simple to make as well as packed with flavor.
6 ounces good quality smoked salmon, diced small
1 shallot minced
1 tablespoon chopped dill
2 or 3 tablespoons sour cream
Juice of 1 lemon
Fresh cracked black pepper
Homemade potato or kettle chips
A few pretty sprigs of fresh dill
In a bowl, mix with a fork the salmon, dill, shallots, cream. Add just enough lemon to add some brightness; finish with a couple “turns” of black pepper.
Pick out the best potato chips, meaning, flat and round. Place a generous amount salmon tartar on the chip, garnish with fresh dill. Enjoy.
Dixie note: For those not wanting chips in the house, try gourmet flat crackers (little or no seasoning), which might also be good on cucumber rounds.