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The Tavern at Lark Creek is in tune with the season

Busy chef Wright is a new father; debuts spring dishes

The executive chef of the Tavern at Lark Creek has a few spring developments. His wife, Sadie, gave birth two months ago to Evan Wright.

Besides his new fatherly duties, he still hits the Marin Farmers market every Thursday.

 “All the produce coming into the market really inspires me. I’ve added a shaved vegetable salad — what could be more a harbinger of spring,” he explains.

 After he saw the short-season green garlic in the market, he decided to feature it in a lentil soup also enhanced with fennel and thyme.

Shaved Spring Vegetable Salad

(serves 4 people)

Jumbo Asparagus, shaved length wise           1 cup
Rainbow Carrots, shaved length wise           1 cup
Snap Peas, sliced on a long bias              1 cup
Breakfast Radishes, shave length wise         1/2 cup
Celery Leaves with Shaved Hearts                 1/2cup
Little Gem Lettuce                                           4 heads
Fresh Herbs (dill, chervil, chives)                 4 sprigs each
Celery White Balsamic Vinaigrette          As Needed
Salt & Fresh Ground Black Pepper          As Needed

Clean all the various vegetables by peeling the skins, topping the root vegetables and washing them all under cold water. With a japanese mandoline shave farmers’ market vegetables into a large salad bowl. Mix in the desired amount of dressing to the salad and toss, then season to taste.

When plating, lay the lettuce down first, followed by the long shaved stands, the peas and radishes will collect at the bottom.  Place them on top followed by the fresh herbs.  Salad can also be served family style with the herbs on top. 

It’s also a good idea to have the vegetables prepared in advance stored in bowls with wet paper towels draped over them.

 

Celery & White Balsamic Vinaigrette

white balsamic vinegar                                  1/2 cup
salt                                                         1/2 tsp
black pepper, freshly ground                          1/2 tsp
celery seed, freshly ground                          1/2 tsp
dry mustard                                              1 tsp
grapeseed oil                                         1 cup

Salad dressing can be made in advance and will hold up to two weeks in a refrigerator.

 

Green Garlic & Lentil Soup

Serves 6                                

brown mustard seeds                   1 tsp
fennel seeds                                     1 tsp
coriander seeds                            1/2 tsp
black peppercorn                             1/2tsp
red lentils                                       1/2 cup
green lentils (umbrian lentils)                 1/2 cup
extra virgin olive oil                        1/3 cup
white onion, small diced                    1 cup
green garlic small diced                    1/3 cup
carrots small diced                    3/4 cup
celery small diced                            3/4 cup
garlic cloves smashed                        1
bay leaf                                           1
rosemary sprig                             1
thyme sprigs                                     1
vegetable stock                            4 cups
kosher salt                                      to taste

Finely grind mustard seeds, fennel seeds, coriander seeds, peppercorns in a grinder.

Rinse lentils, soak in water and drain. Heat canola oil  in a  heavy pot over moderate heat, stir in the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, green garlic and ground spice mixture. Cook, stirring occasional, until the veggies are slightly softened, about 10 minutes.  Stir in the stock, lentils, bay leaf, rosemary and thyme; bring to a boil.  reduce the heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes, until the lentils are tender. Remove and discard bay leaf and herb sprigs.

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