Once spring and summer return (soon!), you will be able to read ES’ odes to fresh produce, farmer’s markets and the like, but right now we are still stuck in limbo. Not to knock all the delicious winter vegetables available this time of year, but I am more than ready for the days of walking onto my deck and picking some fresh lettuce for a salad. But even the 12 inches of snow we got last week in Pennsylvania couldn’t dull my appetite for a fresh simple salad, and I immediately thought of a book I have been reading by David Tanis, Chez Panisse’s well known executive co-chef.
While I seldom follow cookbooks too closely, this one is different. Not quite a diary and not quite a cookbook, this is more of a love letter to the beauty of cooking with care. Starting with stories of his personal kitchen rituals, Heart of the Artichoke has quickly turned into a very engrossing read for me.
The book is arranged by season and I had recently come across a winter meal that included a romaine hearts salad, which I thought would be a perfect fix for my leafy longing. Now this is not a book that will blow your mind with avant garde technique and gastronomic excess and neither is the recipe. It is more a distillation of fairly standard methods that let the ingredients shine through, so feel free to try any variations you can think of.
Romaine Hearts with Shaved Parmigiano and Lemon Dressing