I am going to feature several salads from Marie-Pierre Moine during this month. This is the first and there are more to come.

Salad days are here again

by Marie-Pierre Moine
A great salad can bring a meal together, particularly now that the days are getting a little longer and we are looking forward to the spring ahead. The chefs at the St.Bernard Hotel in Taos Ski Valley serve wonderful refreshing vibrant salads every day. Take a leaf from Cuisine St. Bernard and brighten up meals with these original new recipes. ( www.cuisinestbernard.com)

Avocado salad with sweet red onions & lime
The sweet red onion and the zingy dressing can be used to accompany other dishes. Chef Chris White at the St. Bernard has ‘deconstructed’ his salad recipe to make it easier to prepare the ingredients separately. A perfect starter.

Preparation and marinating 1 hour. Serves 6-8.

For the sweet red onion garnish
1/2 red onion, very thinly sliced,
(on a mandolin if you have one)
rice wine vinegar to cover

Cover the sliced onions with rice vinegar. Leave for 1 hour before using. If you like, cover and refrigerate for up to 3 weeks.

For the avocado salad
2-3 ripe avocadoes, halved
pinch salt
juice 1 lime

Slice each halved avocado into four. Remove the skin and put the flesh in a bowl, sprinkle with the salt and lime juice. Toss gently and cover.
For the dressing
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2/3 cup extra virgin, first cold press olive oil
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
pinch of red chile, preferably Chimayo
1-2 tsp soy sauce
Juice and finely grated zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
1 garlic clove, minced
Leaves from a few sprigs fresh mint, basil or rosemary

Combine all ingredients and blend. Store leftover dressing in a jar in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. Shake before use.

To finish the salad
4 generous handfuls of baby arugula leaves, washed and drained
Black pepper

Put 3 tablespoons dressing in a shallow bowl. Add the arugula, and toss gently. Add the avocado and the onion, and finish off with a little more dressing (if needed) and a crank of black pepper.
Marie-Pierre Moine, internationally renowned cookbook author, with sixteen titles to her name, eagerly consented to the project after her first visit. Moine, who grew up in Paris, surrounded by the pantheon of French cuisine, now lives in London. Her writing is know for its verve and style, and its insights into the culture behind the cuisine. It is a hallmark of her books that recipes are adapted to home cooking, and she worked with Jean and the chefs at the St. B to make it so with this book.

Recipes reprinted with permission from Cuisine St. Bernard by Marie-Pierre Moine and Jean Mayer ( www.cuisinestbernard.com).

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