Inspiration. Where does it come from? For me it can come from anyone or anywhere, Farmers Market is a huge source along with cookbooks or the older gentleman fishing at the beach telling me what his mama used to make him. I sometimes find it in the strangest places but that's exactly why I carry my notebook in my bag. When something inspires me, it drives me, (sometimes crazy) until I can actually implement the idea. I also find surrounding myself with positive, driven, passionate people is nice too.
Have you met Whit? She's one of my bestest's and she moved out here to go to Culinary School the same time I moved out here to go to Nutrition School and every spare minute we've had is spent exploring and finding the best of Vancouver's food scene. From finding the best $3.00 Bahn Mi (on Kingsway and it's never complete unless the same man is sitting outside hoarking in his cup while we sit in the car eating). To the once a month Ukrainian Orthodox Church Perogi Night (best borscht, lineups, go early) to the best dinner under $10.00 of charcoal grilled meat skewers and salad (Zakkushi) to the city's best chai tea (Granville Island Tea Company) that must be paired with a warm honey dip donut from Lee's Donuts.
I popped in to say hi before she was getting off work one day, our convo: W: What are you doing for dinner? Me: I don't know, what are you doing? W: Well I have some ricotta in my fridge, I could make a pasta..Me: I have some zucchini in my fridge I could make a salad...
Whit's Tortiglioni with Peas, Proscuitto, Ricotta and Fresh Parmigiano and the most amazing crusty bread she made at work.
Our styles really compliment each other. We're big on clean stylistic comfort food. I just made that up. That sounds fancy. We just like food!
White Truffled Zucchini Salad
4 baby zucchini
6 fresh basil leaves, chiffonade or torn by hand
1 lemon (Juice and Zest)
½ garlic clove, minced
salt and pepper
1 tsp white truffle oil *found at Gourmet Warehouse, not as expensive as you may think!
12 spears asparagus, bottom of stalks removed
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
large handful spinach (or kale, just massage it with a little lemon juice, salt and pepper)
parmigiano reggiano, shaved (use a vegetable peeler)
Fleur de sel (French Sea Salt)
* truffle oil is optional if not to your taste or not available
1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. On a baking sheet lined with baking paper, toss asparagus with balsamic, olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast for 10-12 min. Can be served room temperature or cold on the salad.
2.Trim ends off of zucchini, using a mandoline make slices as thin as possible. Then cut into ½ inch strips. Can also use a vegetable peeler or sharp knife. Toss with fresh basil, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, salt and pepper and white truffle oil. Chill in fridge for 10 min to let zucchini soften slightly and flavours marinate.
3.Place spinach or kale on bottom of plate, lay asparagus across, top with marinated zucchini. Finish with shaved parmigiano reggiano and fleur de sel.