Laura Avery talks with cookbook author Amelia Saltsman about lettuce, which is currently in season. She also meets with La Cachette chef, Jean Francois Meteigner, who describes the rhubarb and strawberry tart that is now available at his restaurant.
Spring Green Salad
1 cup shelled English peas (about 1 pound in the pod), or fava beans (about 2 pounds in the pod)
1 large head red or green butter lettuce, large leaves torn
1/4 cup snipped sprigs dill
1/4 cup snipped leek, garlic, or regular chives
About 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil or walnut oil
About 1 tablespoon lemon juice
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Cook the peas in boiling salted water until barely tender, about 2 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. If using fava beans, cook in boiling salted water for 2 minutes, cool, and slip the skins off the beans. Place the peas, lettuce, dill, and chives in a salad bowl. Drizzle with the olive oil and add the lemon juice, a healthy sprinkle of salt, and black pepper. Toss the salad and adjust the seasonings to taste.
Rhubarb-Strawberry Tart (from Bon Apetit magazine - May,1996)
1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup sugar
2 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons (or more) ice water
3 tablespoons apricot jam
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
3-3 x ½ -inch strips lemon peel (yellow part only)
1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
2 pounds fresh rhubarb, trimmed, cut diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick pieces (about 6 cups)
Mix flour and salt in processor. Add butter and cut in, using off/on turns, until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add sugar and egg yolks and process briefly to blend. Add 2 tablespoons water and process just until moist clumps form. If dough is dry, add more water by teaspoonfuls to moisten. Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until dough is firm enough to roll, about 30 minutes. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Keep refrigerated. Let soften slightly at room temperature before rolling.)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Roll out dough disk on floured surface 12-inch round. Transfer to 9-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom. Trim crust overhang to ¼ inch. Fold overhang in, creating double-thick sides. Freeze tart crust 15 minutes.
Line crust with foil. Fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake until sides are set, about 20 minutes. Remove foil and beans. Bake until crust is golden brown, piercing with fork if bubbles form, about 15 minutes. Brush crust with jam and bake until jam is set, about 5 minutes more. Transfer pan to rack and cool.
Combine sugar and water in heavy large skillet over low heat. Stir until sugar dissolves. Add lemon peel and cinnamon stick. Increase heat and bring to boil. Add rhubarb and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover pan and simmer until rhubarb is just beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat. Let stand covered until rhubarb is tender, about 15 minutes. Uncover and cool completely.
Using slotted spoon, remove rhubarb from cooking liquid and arrange in concentric circles in crust. Strain cooking liquid into heavy small saucepan. Boil liquid until reduced to ¼ cup, about 5 minutes. Cool syrup completely. Spoon syrup over rhubarb. (Can be prepared 6 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.)
Music Break -- The Great Bank Robbery -- Jerry Van Rooijen