Saturday, April 21, 2012

I know, I know... I'm waaaaaaay behind on blogs. I apologize to all of you out there that have been reading (and hopefully creating some of my recipes). I hope you'll forgive me for my short hiatus and continue checking back each day. Lots of good stuff still to come!

This salad is the first thing I want to share. The recipe is from Terra (a fantastic restaurant in the Napa Valley, California). I recently had dinner there with my husband, our best friends, my stepdaugher and two of her friends. We were in Napa celebrating Katie's 21st birthday (more to share about that wonderful weekend in a blog to come).

Here's the salad that Jenny ordered. I bought the cookbook while we were there and recreated this delicious salad.

Radicchio Salad with Parmesan-Balsamico Vinaigrette
1/4 baguette (to make croutons)*

for the vinaigrette...
1/4 teaspoon grated garlic
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon sherry wine vinegar
2 tablespoons corn oil (I actually used canola oil because that's what I had)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and white pepper to taste

2 heads radicchio, halved and cored
2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

* I just used store-bought croutons, but if you wanted to take the extra step to toast your own, cut the baguette into cubes and spread on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for about 4 to 5 minutes or until they are golden brown.

The recipe in the Terra cookbook just says to whisk the vinaigrette ingredients, but I put everything into my food processor, then drizzled in the oil while it was running.  You could just whisk if you prefer. Combine the first four vinaigrette ingredients, then whisk in the oil . Season with salt & pepper.

Separate the radicchio leaves (I just tore them off piece-by-piece and ripped them into smaller pieces). Rinse them in cold water and dry. I used a salad spinner. Refrigerate until ready to use.

To serve the salad, combine the radicchio, croutons, vinaigrette, and 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese in a large bowl, tossing well so each leaf is coated with vinaigrette. Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!!

Now here are some photos from Terra in Napa Valley...
The restaurant is very small with only about 5 tables.
It is housed in an absolutely beautiful old stone building in downtown St. Helena.

Katie and Elise enjoying our dinner at Terra. We actually had the place all to ourselves for most of our dinner.

Terra's menu is quite interesting. Here's how it works: for a flat price, you can chose 4, 5, or 6 items from the menu. You tell the server what order you'd like them in and that's it. You could choose 4 things that are like appetizers, or all dessert, or all savory meat/fish items, any combination you like. The menu is full of interesting items - every single one will be the best thing you've ever eaten. Seriously - I savored each bite I had that night. It was THAT good.

This is the most delicious soup - Cream of Spring Garlic Soup with Slow Cooked Jidori Egg and Lobster.
I had no idea what a Jidori Egg is... the server said it's just a free-range chicken egg (Jidori sounds much fancier).

I expect that I'll share many more recipes from this great cook book. Can't wait to try them all!

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