Creatively Collaborating is All About A True Passion for Food.

Main Course / March 28, 2017
Photography by Katera Siegel, Melissa Latin and Camine Pappas

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I arrived 
before the crowd to a quiet and clean kitchen. During these few private moments without the noise of pans, tools and tripods, I unloaded my ingredients and put on my new apron. Like a professional athlete whose rituals are vital to winning I believe in mis en place. I believe in respecting my food. I believe in making everything the best it can be.

​”They’re going to publish MY RECIPE!” I nervously whispered to myself, setting out the maraschino cherry scones I had baked the night before as a treat for my collaborators. This was a milestone that I wanted to remember. This is why food is the ultimate connector. This is what the power to nourish is all about.

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Photo by Camine Pappas

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Photo by Camine Pappas

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Photo Courtesy Melissa Latin/Charlotte Fashion Plate

The kitchen we would shoot in belonged to a good friend who had recently remodeled, and was generous enough to allow us to take over her space. it was still February so the light was low and natural, casting a glow of anticipating across the peppered granite countertop and reflecting softly off the haint blue walls. Chosen for its size, its layout, and the off-white antiqued cabinets that would surely help showcase the fresh and bright ingredients, the stage was set perfectly for a day with friends and good food.

Soon Melissa Latin, the Food Editor and Katera Siegel, Photographer, would arrive and we would begin to cook and assemble April’s “Culinary Creations” feature for the Lake Norman Lifestyle Magazine. Moments after Melissa, Katera and I said hello, our other collaborators arrived: Jim Seidel, owner of The Carolina Fish and Food Market in Ballantyne and Ellen Stevens, owner of She’s Pesto.

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Photo above and below by Katera Siegel Photography

As the business of cooking was underway, the conversation hummed, the tasting spoons began to pile up in the sink, and we realized that by the time this was published it would be warm and the perfect time for fresh vegetable pasta. No more winter!

I can’t tell you how glad I am it is springtime. I am one of those people who complain all winter, longing with absolute lucidity for the hot, steamy, long days of summer. This season of reawakening, of gardening bounty, and of colorful landscapes was surely my inspiration for this dish. When Melissa and I met to brainstorm, it didn’t take us more than 3 minutes to know that the recipe would have bright flavors, and be punctuated with fresh local pesto and the most gorgeous scottish salmon I have ever seen.

“Let’s include fresh herbs, lemon, and delicate pasta!” I urged, knowing that I was preaching to the choir. In my mind I was already assembling the ingredients; she writing the article in her head. It would be a cooperative effort at greatness on a plate.

You see the care we all took in photographing our day — the love in which we created the dish and the pride we embodied when plating the meal — soon gave way to hunger. However we acted like homeless people when it came time to dig into our creation. It was like family-meal, everything center stage and forks shamelessly grabbing a bite of salmon crowned with heaping mounds of pesto, then skewering stacks of heirloom carrots, fennel and asparagus, then dipping each in the bottom of the bowl to sop up all of the vinaigrette and pesto. And, oh, the moans of pleasure!
As quickly as the day started it was over. I was scrubbing the floors, wiping the stove, and covering the last remaining scones realizing that all that remained was for the RECIPE to be published. Just for YOU!  ENJOY!

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Photography by Camine Pappas

Roasted Heirloom Carrots, Asparagus, Onion & Fennel over Tagliarelle Pasta

With a Lemon, Mint and Parsley Vinaigrette

Serves 6
Brightly colored carrots become unbelievably sweet and luxurious when roasted,especially with the addition of apiquant Lemon, Mint and Parsley Vinaigrette. The bed of thin, almost transparent Tagliarelle pasta completes the mouth feel, and allows the jewel toned vegetables to take center stage on any table. Served warm or cold, or with a protein such as salmon,this dish is the perfect way to welcome spring!


Ingredients:

Vege Tables:

Place 2 ½ C red and purpose carrots, and
2 C yellow carrots washed and cut into 1” cubes in a large bowl.
1 C cubed fennel bulb (about 1 bulb)
4 large garlic cloves cut into thirds
In another bowl add ¾ C large knob onions cut into large chunks and 2 C angled and thick cut asparagus spears. (You will add these to the roasting pan later in the cooking process.) Toss each bowl of ingredients with 1-2 T of extra virgin light olive oil and about 1 t kosher salt.


Extras:
  • 1, 8.82 ounce box of Cipriani Brand Tagliarelle pasta Extra curls of lemon zest and chopped parsley to garnish. For plating, you can also garnish with any herb such as lavender or fennel fronds and a lovely slice of lemon.

Vinaigrette:
  • Chop finely 1/3 C Italian parsley and ¼ C fresh mint leaves and 1 t fresh thyme leaves and set aside.
    In a n another small bowl combine ¼ C light olive oil, ½ C white wine vinegar and 1/8 C fresh squeezed lemon juice


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