Saturday, October 13, 2012

Late Summer Treasure

I travel to Albany, New York for my job. A lot. Most people groan when they hear that, and offer their sympathy. But I adapt to my surroundings, and I love going to Albany.

In my opinion, the Albany food co-op is the city's greatest hidden treasure. I've never seen anything like it. If you read this blog, you know I cook a lot. And I use ingredients that you don't find in your everyday supermarket. I can always find exactly what I need at the Albany food co-op, and more. The people are friendly, the prices are great, their bulk section is amazing (I never knew there were so many different kinds of flour!), and they even have raw milk.

Albany's restaurants are also pretty amazing. New World Bistro Bar, a 10-minute drive from the capitol building and a place where you can often see Albany powerbrokers brokering power over a drink and a meal, is my favorite.

The menu is seasonal, and the food creative. It's warm and comfortable, and the service has always been friendly and attentive. They have a great wine list, except I'm always disappointed with their selection of local New York wines.

Farmer's Market Salad was on the menu that last time I visited, and I was blown away. I don't know if it was the menu description of the dish, or the server's recommendation, but I'm glad I chose it. I knew I had to make it at home. When I returned to Brooklyn, I had the opportunity to re-create the salad for friends who came over for dinner. I served it as the second course following pumpkin soup, and before tilapia over date-nut couscous. It was a hit.

New World Bistro Late Summer Farmer's Market Salad

Bunch of kale
Bunch of escarole
2 tbsp Apple chutney
1 tbsp Curried Cashews
2 tbsp Curried vinaigrette
3 oz goat cheese

Roughly chop the kale and escarole after washing thoroughly. Both greens retain a lot of sand. Toss the lettuce and chutney with the curried vinaigrette until the leaves are lightly coated. Tip: Add the vinaigrette gradually to taste instead of adding all 2 tbsp immediately. You may want to reserve some for the table. Toss in pieces of goat cheese and curried cashews. Arrange on a plate displaying all ingredients. Serve and enjoy!

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