Apr 27, 2011

Salad As A Meal---

At Left Bank in Larkspur with Patricia Wells' new book
Last night I took two of my best friends and my appetite to meet Patricia Wells at Left Bank in Larkspur where we ate a four course menu using recipes from her latest book, Salad As A Meal.  The food was prepared by the talented team at Left Bank, under the leadership of chef Roland Passot, also of La Folie restaurant in San Francisco.  All I can say is ...wow. From the food, to the engaging table company, to the book itself, it was a night to savor and I can't wait to dig into a few of these recipes. I've already dog-eared the pages for this weekend's dinner party.

When she says 'salad,' Patricia doesn't just mean your basic bowl of limp lettuce. Non. Thumb through the 300+ pages and you'll find items like creamy lemon-chive dressing (for your green beans), salmon and halibut tartare (looks too beautiful to eat), and even meat dishes like smoked duck breast.

 Last night's tasting menu included one of my favorites, Flammenkuchen---a pizza like tarte with steamed onions and bacon on perfectly flakey pastry.  Amazing.  I ate a lot of Flammenkuchen when I lived in Brussels, and it never tasted like this! (Sorry Belgians).  We also enjoyed an easy hummus recipe  that Patricia assured would taste better using home cooked chick peas rather than canned.  The asparagus, ham and poached egg salad was also divine. Though the recipe calls for white asparagus, Left Bank served green last night. They also soft boiled the egg instead of poaching. No worries---the outcome was perfect and spawned a question from a guest:   "How does one gets an egg that perfectly cooked?"  Chef Passot had the answer, "Fresh eggs, placed in salted boiling water for half the time you'd cook for hard boiled." So about 5 minutes.  Egg-cellent advice.  

Fortunately for us in the Bay Area, we have access to the best produce, meat, eggs, and other ingredients.  So, get a copy of this book and head to the farmers market tout de suite, and get cooking.  You won't go hungry! Bon Appetit!
Patricia Wells with Roland Passot and the talented Left Bank team

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