Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Foodista's Inside Scoop with Cookbook Author, Tracey Medeiros

I'd like to introduce a new Foodista content feature called Foodista's Inside Scoop.  My goal here will be to get up close and personal with interesting food experts such as restaurant owners, chefs, cookbook authors, and other foodie authoritaMy first profile is of Tracey Medeiros, passionate cook, food writer, recipe developer and tester, and author of the wonderful cookbook (which I use frequently), Dishing Up Vermont.

You might remember me mentioning Tracey's cookbook from a previous giveway I did with her in honor of an event she hosted at NY's legendary, Murray's Cheese Shop.  Since then, I've also put her cookbook to the test for a fun Father's Day treat, with her Apple Crumb Pie with Creme Fraiche. It was deeelicious and a huge hit with my family.

So when I had the opportunity to meet up with Tracey last week for a one-on-one interview, I was thrilled.  Arranging to meet at the Union Square Greenmarket, where Tracey conducted a live food demo and book signing, I got to ask her a couple of questions about her book, including tips for novice cooks as well as her personal advice for navigating the sometimes intimidating world of the urban farmer's market.  Here's a link to the video - enjoy!

After our interview, I hung around to observe the food demo, where Tracey made a delicious Spinach Salad with Basil Maple Vinaigrette, using local ingredients from the Farmer's Market.  In addition to having the pleasure of watching Tracey do her thing, I was delighted to run into Margot (pictured above) from White Hot Oven, who assisted Tracey with food prep.  The two seemed like a great team!

I was delighted to observe the melding of wonderful flavors in this dish (including strips of smokey bacon) and once everything was incorporated, it created a tasty, filling salad with fresh, summer flavors.  Here's the recipe, courtesy of Tracey.

Spinach Salad with Basil Maple Vinaigrette

Ingredients (serves 4-6)
1/2 cup of basil leaves, coarsely chopped
2 tbs onion, minced
2 tbs chicken stock (available Wed/Sat at the Union Square Greenmarket)
4 tbs vinegar
1 tbs dijon or yellow mustard
2 tbs pure maple syrup
Sea salt to taste
1 cup of extra virgin olive oil
2 spinach bunches (10-12 oz each) washed, dried, stemmed, and torn into bite sized pieces
2 cups of cherry tomatoes, or to taste, halved
4 strips of bacon, cooked and crumbled (about 1/4 cup)

Make the vinaigrette: combine the basil, onion, stock, vinegar, mustard, maple syrup and salt in a food processor or blender, mixing well.

Continue to process, and slowly add the oil a little at a time until all the oil is used and fully incorporated.  The dressing should have a smooth and satiny texture.

Toss the spinach, tomatoes and bacon bits in a large salad bowl.  Add the dressing a 1/4 cup at a time, gently tossing until you have reached desired taste.  Divide salad among chilled salad plates or bowls, and serve.



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