The final recipes for last Monday's show are so far apart in content and execution that I wonder how they came to be the last I would blog about, would end up sharing the same space as if one might be the opening act for the other. Such a pair are almost at odds. But though they are at the extreme end of one another. They are still both extremely excellent in taste and content.
I am talking about the simple salad of tomatoes, red onions, sweet peppers and cucumbers. Here less really is more. It is a small chamber ensemble which enables each taste to shine and harmonize with its neighbors. Let me share the recipe before I go on to the other extreme.
Tomato and Cucumber Salad
1 cup sweet red onion thinly sliced
1 pound fresh tomatoes
1 regular size cucumber or the same amount in smaller cucumbers such as lemon cukes
Several fresh basil leaves
1 small sweet pepper
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Put the onion in a bowl of cold water and let soak for about 5 minutes. Drain, gently squeeze onion and soak again in fresh water. Repeat this process several times.
Slice tomatoes and cucumbers and place them in a bowl along with the onions.
Tear basil and add.
Cut pepper into strips and add.
Just before you are ready to serve the salad, add oil, salt, pepper and vinegar in that order. Toss to cover all ingredients and correct for seasoning and serve.
The Cobb Salad is as much as a classic as is the Caesar Salad. Unlike the Caesar, the Cobb does not need to add anything to dress it up as this salad wears it's full tux to begin. Born at the famous dining spot of the movie stars, The Brown Derby, this was the brainchild of owner Robert Cobb one night as he scrounged around the kitchen looking to make a snack for Hollywood buddy Sid Grauman, owner of the famous Grauman's Chinese Theatre.
The next time you watch that famous I Love Lucy episode in which the madcap redhead delivers a pie in the face of movie star Bill Holden, note that in the beginning of that scene, Holden orders a Cobb Salad for lunch. Just a little advertising for this famous dish?
You may not be able to kiss Bill Holden like Lucy did so many years ago, but follow the link to Gourmet's web site and enjoy Mr. Holden's lunch sans the pie.