"This salad," says Manuel Perez, executive chef of the Peacock Inn in Princeton, "was inspired by a dish I had in New York some years back—an escabeche of vegetables sitting under a piece of rare-cooked hamachi. It was rich, cool, acidic and delicious. Enjoy."
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Organic Mixed Greens, Marinated Vegetables, Manchego Croquette, Sherry Vinaigrette
Marinated Vegetables & Vinaigrette:
1 cup bunch carrots peeled & cut ¼ " in a short bias
1 cup fennel cut into ¼ " batons
1 cup portobello mushroom medium dice
1 cup red onion sliced ¼ "
1 cup grape tomatoes halved
Sachet 8 basil leaves, 4 garlic cloves peeled, 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 quart olive oil
¾ cup sherry vinegar
S&P to taste
In a large pot (enough to hold 1 qt of oil plus all of the vegetables) bring the oil to a simmer.
Add the sachet and carrots and cook for 3 minutes.
Add the fennel and red onion and cook for 5 minutes.
Add the mushrooms and cook an additional 5 minutes.
Remove from the stove and let cool slightly before adding tomatoes.
When the vegetables are cool add the sherry vinegar and season with salt and white pepper.
1 lb of manchego cheese cut into 16 large cubes
4 beaten eggs
1 cup all purpose flour
2 cups of bread crumbs
6 cups of canola oil for frying
Coat the manchego first in flour followed by the egg and lastly the bread crumbs, reserve.
Bring the canola oil up in a pot to 350 degrees and fry the croquettes just before serving the salads.
To assemble the salad:
Drain the vegetables and divide among four plates.
Dress the greens with the sherry vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper.
Put the greens on the plates over the vegetables and add the fried croquettes.
Notes: You may have some vinaigrette left over. This will keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Do not serve the croquettes immediately out of the fryer. They will be way too hot.
As an option, you may add fresh picked herbs (cilantro, tarragon, parsley, or mint) to the mixed greens.
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