For busy women who often don’t have the bandwidth to cook after a long day, a farm-to-table spread at home can seem out of the question. However, creating delicious, healthy dishes using seasonal local produce is easier than you think. To help you get out of the microwave dinner rut, we’ve tapped executive chef Bernard Ibarra of SoCal’s eco-conscious oceanfront resort Terranea for easy ways to create meals that do better and taste better. Read on for his tips, plus score two amazing recipes to whip up just in time for the holidays.
Locate A Go-To Farmer's Market
"It's important to find a reliable source for vegetables and protein. More and more small markets are offering really good organic produce. Ask questions, smell, touch. Also, have an idea of what you want to cook before you go shopping."
Focus On Simple Ingredients
"There are wonderful ingredients you can eat raw in salads—just drizzle with avocado oil and sea salt. Or just throw the cast iron pan on the stove and heat it up with a little bit of fat and wilt your vegetables to give them a charred flavor."
Don't Take It Too Seriously
"It's got to be fun. Follow your passion, make mistakes and have a glass of wine. If you use a cookbook, you don't have to follow the recipe exactly; it's just a guideline. You can replace some ingredients with others that you like."
Enjoy The Basics
"Go back to where it all started with the cavemen. Stay connected to nature. Get excited about simple things like a lemon that comes from a tree—snap it off and open it and get the juice. Here at Terranea we make our own sea salt from the ocean, and we grow olive trees for olive oil. I'm trying to put as much good into my body as possible and I want to share that with others."
Heirloom Tomato, Beet & Burrata Salad
Recipe by David Tarrin, Chef de Cuisine of Catalina Kitchen, Terranea
- 2 balls burrata cheese, cut in 1/2-inch slices
- 1½ lb beets, cooked, skins removed and sliced
- Olive oil
- Balsamic vinegar
- Flaked sea salt
- Cracked pepper
- 2 lb heirloom or summer tomatoes, sliced
- 1-2 cups arugula or mizuna
- ½ cup fresh basil ribbons
- Balsamic syrup
- Crusty bread, for serving
- Place burrata slices on a platter.
- Place beet slices in a bowl and toss with olive oil, balsamic, salt and pepper. Arrange on the platter.
- Place tomato slices on the platter with a pinch of salt.
- Toss the greens in a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar and scatter over the platter.
- Garnish the platter with basil ribbons and balsamic syrup right before serving. Serve with crusty bread.
Pan-Roasted Salmon with Salmorejo Sauce and Asparagus
Recipe by Andrew Vaughan, Chef de Cuisine of Mar'sel, Terranea
Salmorejo Sauce (yields 6 cups) Ingredients:
- 2 lb tomatoes (about 10 Early Girls)
- 1 baguette (no crust, scoop out soft insides)
- 1 oz sherry vinegar
- 8 oz olive oil
- Sea salt Instructions:
- Rough-chop tomatoes, add to blender and puree with bread and vinegar. Drizzle in olive oil and blend to emulsify. Salt to taste.
- Chill and set.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 7 oz salmon fillet
- Sea salt
- 4 stalks steamed asparagus
- Salmorejo sauce (see above)
- Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.
- Heat olive oil in sauté pan over medium.
- Season salmon and pan sear for 4 minutes until golden brown.
- Finish in oven for an additional 7 minutes.
- To assemble, place a few tablespoons of sauce on plate, place asparagus on sauce and top with salmon. Serve immediately.