October 8, 2010

Unusual Pearings

I had the pleasure of low sodium lunching yesterday at the always creative, always delicious Boulette’s Larder. With a table outside, ferry boats pulling into harbor, and Blue Angels soaring overhead, it was the most idyllic setting imaginable. And not to be outdone, the food was equally mind-blowing.

What I love most about Boulette’s Larder is that head chef and owner, Amaryll Schwertner, truly celebrates ingredients in their most simple form. Dishes are not spectacular because of foams or foie gras or some other form of culinary acrobatics. They food is good – no, it’s great – because she matches seasonal produce with their perfect mates. And forget about peas and carrots. These are some wild two-somes (and three-somes) that you would have never imagined.

For example, the picture above. This dessert (yes, I said dessert) consists of avocado, honey, and balsamic vinegar. Who would have guessed that these three ingredients would go together, but man oh man, does the mixture work.

The soft texture of the avocado against the bite of the balsamic with the sticky sweet drizzle of the honey – it’s a flavor combination that hums and sings and buzzes in all the right ways. And while Amaryll created it as the final act of our meal, I think that it would be equally delicious as a starter on some low sodium cheese crackers.

The other big hit of the afternoon was roasted butternut squash with browned butter and roasted pear. Again, a simple dish with only three ingredients. But because each one was a good fit, the meal as a whole was bursting with big flavor.

Amaryll served this as a salad, topped with some micro arugula. But I may even dare to use the combo in a breakfast hash or on top of pasta.

My lunch at the Ferry Building was a good reminder that flavorful food does not have to be complicated and that, with the right ingredients in the right pairings, you can create huge flavors without other seasonings, salts, or spices.

Have a wonderful weekend and chow on.

Robyn at wellpurposed October 8, 2010 at 11:31 am

Oh yum! That looks really tasty. I’m not a pear person, but the avocado dessert is right up my alley . . . I recently discovered kabocha squash and now my creative cooking gears are turning — the sweet of the squash would play SO nicely with more savory components. 🙂 Keep up the good bloggin’, Jess.

waiwa October 8, 2010 at 11:35 am

nice photos. would you remind us what camera you are using?

Cyn October 11, 2010 at 11:04 am

I just had the avocado with balsamic and honey for lunch. It was even better than I expected!

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