June, 2018 in California was a busy time for the Dejorias, with dinner parties nearly every day. That makes it a busy time for me, too, and a challenge to think of a variety of menus. It also happens to be the month of JP and Eloise’s 25th anniversary. A few guests were invited for the evening. What to fix? JP was not eating red meat, and I had served fish many times in the week already. I didn’t want to serve chicken or run to the store for some other protein. Earlier in the week I had visited a local organic farm. I bought all kinds of vegetables and fruit, more than I actually needed, but summertime in California means abundance of fresh produce. Depending on the weather and month, you have many wonderful varieties of vegetables and fruit, week after week: berries, stone fruit, melons, squashes, blossoms, greens, peas, beans, tomatoes, mushrooms, citrus, onions, carrots, beets, salsify, corn, broccoli, asparagus, artichokes, potatoes, and I could go on. With so much to choose from, sometimes the hardest thing is actually deciding what to make. So I decided not to run to the store and buy a protein for the main course. This was one of the 5 courses I served that evening for the special anniversary dinner. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!
Tomato “salad” hearts of palm, porcini and chrysanthemum
1 cup of cherry tomatoes roasted
4-5 large heirloom tomatoes roasted (for tomato water see below)
1 yellow heirloom tomato sliced
1 large red radish sliced thin
1/2 cucumber shaved on mandolin
1 cup of sourdough croutons
1 porcini shaved
Mint leaves, radish flowers, chive flowers
8 1 inch pieces of hearts of palm
2 1/2 cup water
4 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 large bundle chrysanthemum blanched
1 1/4 cup oil
Pinch of salt
Tomato water here
For the Hearts of palm,
Place all the ingredients into a pot and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and cook for roughly 20 minutes or until the hearts of palm are tender. (Time really depends on how thick and big the palms are). Once tender allow to cool to room temperature and you can pour all the liquid into a container to keep and preserve the hearts of palm.
For the Chrysanthemum oil,
Place blanched chrysanthemum leaves and oil together in a vita mix and puree for 45 seconds. Then pour into a chinos and let it strain without pushing the pulp through the chinos ( let it drip that way you don't get any of the pulp in your oil).
Take a one slice of yellow heirloom tomato and place in the bottom of each bowl. Season with a pinch of salt. Add slices of hearts of palm around the bowl. Add the roasted cherry tomatoes, the sliced porcini, and radish the bowl. Ladle 2 oz of tomato water to the bowl. Finish with herbs, flowers, and croutons. Serve and enjoy!