These visually stunning dishes include a layered root-vegetable gratin and a cherry tomato tart with basil.
Food & Wine
1 of 12
Beet-and-Red Sorrel Salad with Pistachio
Sorrel is a leafy green that gives dishes a tart, almost sour flavor. For this salad, Paul Liebrandt likes using red ribbon sorrel—a European variety with bright green leaves and intense red veins—because it's so pretty with the beets and because its tang is so nice with the nutty pistachio sauce.
Garlic-Rubbed Pork Shoulder with Spring Vegetables
Pork shoulder is often braised or smoked, but Andrew Green, wine director for the Bacchus Management Group (which includes Spruce in San Francisco), rubs it with garlic and herbs, then slow-roasts the meat until it's juicy and crusty.
Fried shallots add sweetness and a crouton-like crunch to this simple green salad from Chris Ainsworth, chef and owner of Saffron Mediterranean Kitchen in Walla Walla, Washington. Plus, they're delicious with a pungent blue cheese, like the Spanish Valdeon, which Ainsworth says has "a good crumble factor."
Relishes typically contain cooked and pickled vegetables; the one here is mouth-tinglingly tangy. James Syhabout of Oakland, California's Commis makes it by pickling shallots, capers, pistachios and pink peppercorns overnight in Champagne vinegar and olive oil. It's awesome on tomatoes, but he also likes using it on fish.
In Mario Batali's riff on the traditional antipasto of prosciutto-wrapped asparagus, he wraps spears in pancetta (which, unlike prosciutto, becomes nicely crispy when cooked) and grills them. Adding a bit of tanginess is the citronette, a marvelously bright-tasting mustardy-orange dressing.
Alain Coumont's cool vegan soup gets its creaminess from pureed zucchini, sautéed onion and garlic. It's brightened with purslane, a lemony weed that Coumont plucks from his Languedoc country garden; if purslane is not available at your local farmers' market, substitute baby arugula leaves instead.