Recipe: Fennel and Arugula Salad

fennel and arugula salad We love the fresh, bright flavors in chef Michael Giletto’s fennel and arugula salad, which he prepared at a recent Beard House dinner. Simple and delicious, this dish is perfect for a weeknight meal; adding rich duck breasts or seared scallops makes it extra special.

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Eat this Word: Salsify

salsifyWHAT? The world is your oyster plant. For such a mild-mannered root vegetable, salsify has attracted an unusually high number of ardent defenders and passionate detractors. Unique, delicate, superb, mild, mysterious, its champions insist. Bland, mushy, faded, forgettable, its critics rejoin. Salsify is also known as oyster plant, because when cooked, it's alleged to taste like the mollusk. (More disagreement on this point.) There are, however, a few facts everyone concedes: Salsify is a carrot-shaped winter vegetable. Thomas Jefferson grew it, and a vegetable garden remains the best place to find it in contemporary America. It's much more common in Europe, where people use it in stews, soups, and fritters or simply sautèed in butter. White salsify and black salsify (technically called Scorzonera) are used interchangeably. WHERE? Michael Giletto and Alina Eisenhauer's Beard

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Tastebud: Let Them Eat Brioche!

brioche

Once a symbol of luxury, brioche is a classic, egg and butter–enriched French bread that is traditionally baked in a circular, fluted pan. Crowned with a smaller globe of dough, it becomes brioche à tête. The richness of brioche stands up to intensely savory foods like foie gras and also works well in decadent desserts. Shortly before the French Revolution, shortages of plain bread were common in poor communities. To curb starvation (and prevent uprisings), the law required that fancier breads like brioche had to be sold at a lower, regulated price. The expression “Let them eat cake,” frequently misattributed to Marie Antoinette, actually stems from this 18th-century mandate.

Brioche is no longer inciting revolution, but it is showing up on many plates at the Beard House. In fact, Michael Giletto will serve it twice, placing fennel aspic on slices of caramel brioche with fried salsify

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