You know the Idle Hostess is always looking for simple, doable and scrum dishes with which to dazzle her guests. I know, I know, bit weird to talk about myself in the third person, but also kinda fun.
Well, the other night at a fabulous birthday bash I found myself nibbling (doesn't that sounds more elegant than scoffing?) some divine canapes made by a friend Kyle, who is a personal chef. One canape had radishes and the other featured beets. Both recipes by Martha Stewart and pics from her website, but obviously Kyled a bit - and I'll bet the better for it. All ingredients can be bought at Berkeley Bowl.
Endive Boats with Marinated Vegetables:
Kyle: "With the veggies, we roasted the beets rather than boiling--makes them sweeter. And added some tarragon to the vegetable mixture to just round it out and make it a bit more intriguing."
Idle Hostess: "The piece de resistance is the salmon roe (Ikura). It's the most delish thing, I promise you. Even my kids love it - it's pink, round, salty and pops in the mouth - what's not to love? I could see this recipe as a salad too, just chuck it all in together."
Ingredients (makes 36)
1 small fresh beet, (about 3 ounces)
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
1 medium carrot, peeled
1/2 (about 8 ounces) bulb fennel, trimmed
1 tablespoon white-wine vinegar
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/4 pounds (5 large heads) Belgian endive
2 tablespoons salmon roe, (optional)
2 teaspoons chopped chervil leaves
- Place beet and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt in a saucepan of water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; boil until beet is tender, about 30 minutes. Drain and peel beet; grate on large holes on a box grater, and place in a bowl. Grate carrot; add to beets.
- Cut fennel into very thin 1/2-inch-long slivers; add to beets and carrots.
- Whisk together vinegar, olive oil, pepper, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Toss with vegetables. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Trim endive, separating leaves. Reserve large leaves for another use. Fill lower half of small leaves with 1 1/2 teaspoons of vegetable mixture. Top with 1/8 teaspoon salmon roe, if using; garnish with chervil.
Radish Canapes with Black Olive Butter:
Kyle: "We used the watermelon radish and red radish to mix it up and get crazy. In the butter, we added some capers and lemon zest to make it pop a bit more than the original.
Idle Hostess: "The radish crunch freshens the palate for the meal. Kyle's use of watermelon radishes makes it pink and red and prettier than the stock pics above, but my on-the-night pics were horrible - it's so hard to photograph food! - so you'll have to imagine it."
Ingredients (serves 6)
Mix olives, scallions, mint, and butter in a bowl. Season with pepper. Spread olive butter onto each baguette slice. Thinly slice radishes. Layer 2 or 3 slices on top of each canape.
Next time: Kyle's own invention: a "Dino" Kale (whatever that is, we'll find out!) Caesar salad. "Much more interesting than that old Romaine and more seasonal" Kyle reckons.