One of the best tasting flavors in Japanese cuisine is paradoxically one of the least appreciated in American cooking. Maboroshi Plum Salt captures the flavor and delivers it to you as a psychedelic flamingo purple-pink powderized salt form: a miracle of sorts. But how to use it? Rice balls, white fish sashimi, a salted olive martini flight like the one at Alu, a great new bar in town? Blake Van Roekel an instructor at the Robert Reynolds Chefs Studio sent me a recipe the other day that takes things in yet another direction. Blake runs Keuken, an “eating by design” dinner series that brings together artist, chef, and diner in a collaborative evening feast. Thanks Blake!
Asian Pear & Pomegranate Salad with Marboroshi Plum Finishing Salt
I used a very simple dressing as to not mask the salt, and the fruits themselves have juice and flavor. Also I just drizzled the lemon and olive oil on the salad after plating so that the salt would not dissolve immediately upon hitting a liquid (however, the salt looks beautiful upon the white flesh of the pear as it dissolves). It is a very clean and simple salad. Components of the menu for the entire meal fold in aspects of Asian cuisine or preparation, similar to the construes of the salad. Part of the inspiration of this course comes from how raw fruit is sometimes eaten in parts of Asia – dipped in salt.
1 Asian pear
young salad greens
1/4 lb aged chevre (Jasper Hill, Constant Bliss – it was excellent!)
mild, high-quality olive oil (Sylver Leaf, Foothills blend was perfect)
juice from 1/2 lemon
Marboroshi Plum finishing salt
To prepare, slice the pear into 1/8″ slices. Remove the pomegranate seeds and place in a bowl. Slice the cheese into 1/4″ slices and cut in half on the diagonal. To compose the salad, weave the pear slices amongst the salad greens, sprinkle the pomegranate seeds on top, and place the cheese to one end of the salad. Drizzle with olive
oil and a squeeze of lemon. To finish, sprinkle the salt around the edge of the plate and the salad itself. Enjoy!