Inspired again by a picture in Lea Linster’s new book, I attempted to emulate the master and failed…again.
This time, I perceive the reason to be lack of variety of vegetables (not entirely my fault), and my tendency to want to have everything on one plate, hence the chicken She makes this salad without meat, I use chicken strips. I cut brunoise zucchini, seeds and middle removed, about 1 each, and saute the dice with garlic in olive oil.
Several sprigs of thyme are added and later removed. This mixture is cooled and later pureed with 1 tbsp. of olive oil. I added rocket for it’s spice. The vegetables I used are eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers, onion, garlic. These are fried, then roasted in the oven. Later , take the cooled zucchini mix out of the fridge, cut the rocket into short pieces and add to a mixer. I have a cool hand-pulley machine with a sharp blade, so that is what I use. Before, I cooked the cous-cous and added the juice of a lemon and some tomato cubes. This I spread out on the plate. Then I put the metal ring in the center and added 2 tbsp. of the zucchini puree. In her book, she describes sticking various vegetables into the puree, using it as a fixing glue. Needless to say, my 3 variations did not fit the bill. I did, howevever, make the vinaigrette, and added a 1/2 tsp of mustard (one of the ones with the grains) for the salad. The vegetables were fried in a grill-pan with raised ridges.
The zucchini came out really good, the eggplant was a bit dry/greasy, the mushrooms were tasty.
I then tried to assemble a good-lookin’ plate, adding fried long strips of chicken breast that was rolled in szechuan pepper. First the cous-cous,
then the puree,
then the vegetable assembly,
then the warm meat strips,
then the vinaigrette.
This all sounds sophisticated, the reality was that the salad tasted humdrum (same procedure…),
The zucchini mix was good, and the vegetables, grilled or not, were banal
The meat was actually quite tasty, especially with the szechuan pepper (very aromatic).
In the summertime I would/will make this with artichoke hearts, roasted bell peppers,
maybe asparagus and possibly ‘Bärlauch’ (wild garlic, when in season in spring), using cous-cous or quinoa.
The picture leaves something to be desired- the pic is sloppy as are the 2-3 before it. I think I have to invest in a tripod, or start to think like one. All in all the meal tasted somewhat better than it looked, which, I suppose, is no compliment in itself.