Special Feature: Products Sally Recommends

An Interview with Traci Des Jardins

Sally and Antonia interview Traci Des Jardins, former executive chef of Rubicon in San Francisco and present chef/owner of Jardiniere.

MP3 Interview MP3

Interview Time (21:48)

Provencale Eggplant Rolls
Hors d'Oeuvres for 6

2 Japanese eggplants
1 red bell pepper, roasted and peeled
1 three-ounce log of goat cheese
1 white onion, diced
1 small zucchini, diced
1 bunch basil
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons pinenuts, toasted

Preheat oven to 400°. Slice the eggplant thinly lengthwise on a Japanese mandoline, place on a sheet pan seasoned with olive oil, salt and pepper and bake for about 10 minutes until cooked through and tender.

Sauté the white onion and zucchini in olive oil until tender and cooked through, let cool. Dice the red pepper and chop the basil (cut into a chiffonade.) Mix together the goat cheese, peppers, zucchini, onions and basil, season to taste with salt, pepper and olive oil, add to pinenuts.

Take the sliced eggplant, place a teaspoon of the goat cheese mixture at one end of the slice and roll into a little roll.

Whisk together remaining olive oil and balsamic vinegar and place a small spoonful over each roll. Top with a small amount of basil chiffonade.

Sauteed Halibut with Artichoke and Arugula Salad in a Brown Butter Vinaigrette
Serves 6

6 six-ounce pieces halibut filet
6 artichokes
1/2 lemon
2 bunches arugula, stems removed and washed
1 shallot, peeled and diced
1/2 bunch chives, finely minced
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon canola oil
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Cut the tough outer leaves from the artichoke and trim until only the heart remains, remove the fuzzy "choke." Slice the artichoke heart into 1/4 inch slices and sauté in a skillet in 1 tablespoon olive oil until slightly golden and tender, reserve warm. Place the arugula in a mixing bowl, add the shallots and chives. Whisk 1 tablespoon of the balsamic vinegar with the remaining olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Heat a skillet to medium high and sear the seasoned halibut in canola oil for about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes on each side, and finish cooking in a hot oven for about 2-3 minutes. Add the warm artichokes to the arugula and dress with the vinaigrette, season to taste with salt and pepper, toss well. Place the butter in a sauté pan and heat on medium high until the butter is golden brown, let cool for about 1 minute and add the balsamic vinegar. Place the halibut around the salad and drizzle the brown butter vinaigrette over them.

Cured Pork Tenderloin Salad with Sweet Potatoes, Apples, Celery and Whole Grain Mustard Vinaigrette

2 pork tenderloins (12-16 ounces each)
1/2 bunch Italian parsley
1/2 bunch chervil
1/2 cup Kosher salt
1 tablespoon cracked peppercorns
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/4 cup sherry wine vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
salt, pepper to taste
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 firm apples
4 stalks celery
2 bunches watercress, picked

Chop the Italian parsley and chervil, mix with the salt, sugar and cracked peppercorns. Thoroughly coat the tenderloins with the mixture, let marinate for 1 hour and 15 minutes, rinse and pat dry, set aside.

Start the tenderloins in a hot sauté pan in the canola oil, sear on both sides and place in a 450-500° oven for about 7 minutes or until cooked to medium. Hold at room temperature until ready to slice.

For Vinaigrette:

Whisk vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper together. Whisk in oil slowly to emulsify.

For Salad:

Cut apple off core; cut pieces into slices; then cut slices into julienne. Slice celery thinly across the stalk. Toss apples, celery and watercress leaves together with the mustard vinaigrette.

To serve, slice the tenderloins thinly against the grain and arrange fanned against the greens.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the businesses in question before making your plans.

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