Thursday, February 7, 2013

Prelude to Palo Alto Grill part 2 - Salads and Emulsion Dressings

Salad madness continues today as we round out the rest of the first section of our little menu here.  Attempting to round things out and maintain a California feel, we moved onto the steakhouse classic the chop salad.  Ironically, the Chop Salad being as much of a steakhouse standby as the Wedge Salad, and the two being essentially polar opposites in format.  While a wedge involves a large, unadulterated wedge of lettuce, the chop salad consists of many ingredients, chopped quite fine.  
In no particular order, they are:
Diced Onion
Diced Radish
Diced Swiss Cheese
Chopped Artichoke Hearts
Diced Carrots
Dried Currants
Toasted Pumpkinseeds
Chopped Boiled Egg
(whites and yolks)
Diced Green Olives

Last but not least: Shredded Iceberg 

Original plan is to arrange everything in rows, to avoid the potential messy look of a chop salad.  

The plan is to drizzle a bit of Green Goddess Dressing over the salad, potentially tableside.  (recipe following)

After a light toss...

Green Goddess Chopped Salad

coming soon.... 

 Green Goddess Dressing is an emulsification style dressing, made with a combination of herbs.  It was invented in San Francisco at the Palace Hotel in the 1920's.  True Californian original dish.  Eat lots of it.  Its better than Ranch Dressing (which is gross).

1 small handful Tarragon
1 small handful Parsley
1 small handful Chives
1 small handful Chervil
2 each Egg Yolk
1 Tbs Anchovy Paste
2 small cloves Garlic
Juice of 2 Lemons
8 ounces Grapeseed Oil
4 ounces Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 Tbs Crème Fraîche
1 tsp Sherry Vinegar
Salt, to taste

(Note: this process will also work for Caesar and other emulsion-style dressings)

- Begin by blanching the four herbs in boiling water for only 1 minute or so.

- Remove, and immediately shock in ice water.  This blanching step helps keep the herbs green and prevents oxidation, but it is mostly optional.

- Squeeze the herbs, then make sure to give a rough chop
(they like to tangle up in food processor and blender engines)

- Place herbs, yolk and Anchovy Paste inside blender or food processor.  (The former is superior and will give a greener dressing, but either works.)

- Add lemon juice, continue blending.

- Drop in garlic cloves.

- Then begin drizzling Olive Oil slowly,
allowing the machine to continue blending.

- As the dressing thickens, it will begin spinning more smoothly.

- Check for taste, at this point, add the crème fraîche

- Sprinkle with salt and sherry vinegar

- and that's Green Goddess

To finish the salad menu, we've got sesame seared tuna with sesame dressing.

Chill before slicing.
Looks great, its that easy.
Dredge and sear in hot oil, allow sesame seeds to lightly toast

Cut and fry crispy wontons

Toast sesame seeds, add sesame oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and chinese mustard.  Blend smooth

- Boil cornstarch, rice vinegar, honey until thick.  Add to mixture.  Continue blending and add a stream of oil.

When the dressing is the correct consisitency, dress Spring Mix.

Chopped scallions, seared tuna and crispy wontons. Finish the salad.

Coming soon.....


So that should be the 3 salads we open the menu with.  Nice variety.  Still some kinks to work out.  Lots more work to do.

Stay tuned, soup's up next!


  1. nice work chef.... creating dish is daily task for us but organizing and documenting requires another level of professionalism.

  2. That looks great **DROOOL** I would inhale that in a 0.5 sec.