OxfordLivingDictionaries.com defines inspiration as “the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.” Lately I have been feeling very uninspired. I have come to realize that it was because I haven’t been learning lately. Learning about food inspires me and when I am inspired I can create. So here is what I learned that inspired me to create this Frisée with Anchovy Vinaigrette…
Mind of a Chef is a show I learn from continuously (side note I am so happy they brought it back to Netflix). The season we are currently watching is about Chef Gabriel Hamilton who owns NYC restaurant “Prune“. I was so impressed by her simplicity towards dishes. Not a ton of ingredients, just really making the most out of a few flavorful ingredients. Which is what I love most about French and Italian cooking which she appears to draw a lot of influence. In one particular episode the show is shot in Rome, and two cooks are showing her how to make a dish that she loves eating at their restaurant. They are preparing this vegetable that I have never seen or heard of (and I can’t remember the name), but it almost looked like some type of endive, and they paired it with an anchovy dressing; fillets of anchovy diced and combined with lemon juice, garlic, white wine vinegar and olive oil. I imagined how beautiful those flavors were together and could basically taste it in my mouth. The bitter crunchy greens with the lemony tart salty dressing. I couldn’t get that dish out of my head, and so I knew I needed to make it. This dish is so easy and is perfect for the warmer weather upon us. I imagine this would also make a great salad for entertaining with wine, bread and some cured meats. That is what we are planning to do.
Also, for those of you who don’t think you like anchovy, try it again. If you like Caesar dressing than you actually like anchovies. The taste is not fishy at all, but briny and oceanic. It literally evokes memories of the beach and summer time for me. Oh and if you can’t find frisée, I recommend you try escarole which is a variety of endive. Radicchio would also be a good choice here too.
- 1.75 ounces or 16 anchovy fillets (you will need a little over 1 can)
- 1 large clove of garlic, grated or finely minced
- juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 large head of frisée (alternatively use escarole or radicchio), chopped
- freshly ground black pepper
- Finely chop the anchovies and add to a small bowl. Add the garlic, lemon juice and white wine. While whisking, stream in the olive oil.
- Place the frisée in a large bowl, add half of the dressing, toss to combine. Depending on your taste add a little more dressing at a time. I like my salad lightly dressed and used about ¾ of the dressing. Transfer to a platter and sprinkle with black pepper. Pour yourself a glass of wine and serve!