I have a confession to make: I am a cookbook addict. No, seriously, I have two very fast-growing shelves of cookbooks. I love all types of cookbooks. From every type of cuisine to my favorite cooking shows, I try and collect them all. Often I can be seen walking around my house with a cookbook pressed to my face as I devour new recipes and then put them to good use in the kitchen. My family is especially happy when they try new foods.
Last night as I laid in bed I began pondering what I would make today for my Live Now List meal. The possibilities were endless. Thinking aloud I began brainstorming with my husband. He, like many men, is a carnivore at heart. I think he would be most content with a good steak and fresh vegetables. As luck would have it, he married a vegetarian, so his days of red meat are pretty much over.
“What about Thai food?” I asked him quietly, “Should I cook curry tomorrow night?”. I knew that it really didn’t matter to him what I made, but it mattered to me. In Filipino culture there is a phrase, ilaw ng tahanan, which means “the light of the home”. It is what my husband often calls me. As the homemaker I am responsible for what goes into my family’s stomach. As such, I make it a priority to cook fresh, and cook clean. So last night I made the decision: for my Live Now List meal I am cooking salad. “Salad?!” my family said, and looked at me flabbergasted, “You don’t cook salad!”.
I beg to differ. Salad is one of the most under-appreciated types of dishes. Vibrant in color and taste, the humble salad can be eaten all year-round and in a variety of ways. One of my secret, but not-so-secret celebrity crushes is Eric Ripert. The chef/co-owner of Le Bernardin, French Chef Eric Ripert is known for being a master at seafood. He is also known for taking simple ingredients and making a minimal, but phenomenal dish. Naturally I had to purchase his cookbook, “Avec Eric”. If you haven’t seen his cooking show, “Avec Eric” on Hulu (from which the cookbook is derived) then I encourage you to do so. He is so incredibly humble, calming, and he moves like a dancer in the kitchen. Unlike Chef Gordon Ramsey (who I also adore) who is often loud, and boisterous, Chef Ripert is known for having a laid back but meticulous attitude in the kitchen.
Diving through his cookbook I began searching for salad recipes. As most people know, the French have amazingly refined palates. This can be attributed in part to the way French culture is designed. From an early age the French government and private households push children to expand their taste buds. Elementary cafeterias serve homemade Pumpkin Soup with salad for youngsters. Adults have access to an array of vegetables and low-and-slow cooked dishes. French cooking is an art form all on its own. Which brings me back to the salad. Eric Ripert has a salad recipe: “Butter Lettuce Salad with Tarragon and Citrus-Honey Vinaigrette”. Heads of fresh butter/bibb lettuce is tossed with a dressing consisting of honey, lemon, lime, Dijon mustard, canola oil, and fresh tarragon leaves. This is the recipe that I will be making today for my family. I will also be grilling a piece of salmon to accompany the salad for a bit of protein.
There is a part of me that is insanely excited to finally be cooking something from my Avec Eric Cookbook. It has been a long time coming. There is another part of me that is thrilled to be making salad and eating so light and fresh. It is Spring time. Let’s all embrace everything this amazing season gives. Have a wonderful day everyone! I’ll be posting pictures and my reflection this evening. Thank you for coming along with me in my Live Now List Journey. ❤