Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken looked about 12 years-old when their book, City Cuisine was published. After a stint in the kitchen of Le Perroquet in Chicago, they went their separate ways to restaurants in France. Later they met up in Los Angles where they opened Border Grill and later, City Cafe.
They were in a second wave of California chefs who combined their reverence for local, fresh ingredients with the ethnic flavors that permeated Los Angles. American food was no longer just the meat and potatoes of the mid-West, but a cuisine formed from a fusion of world appetites; curries, fish sauce, and peppers. Clean, bright bold flavors are the trademark of City Cuisine.
Their "Molded Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad" is a great way to present cruciferous veggies. They call it a salad, but it make a lovely side to a cold salmon or a poached chicken breast.
Molded Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad
1 small head of cauliflower
1 small bunch of broccoli
1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup of tarragon vinegar
3 shallots, finely chopped
one bunch tarragon, leaves only, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 red pepper, seeded and diced (optional)
Trim and separate cauliflower and broccoli into florets. Bring a large pot salted water to a boil and blanch vegetables, separately until crunchy but fork tender, 3 to 6 minutes. Immediately refresh in iced water and drain.
Have ready 6 coffee cups or 1-cup molds. Placing florets with stems toward the center, arrange alternating layers of broccoli and cauliflower in each cup. When cups are full, press down to remove the air and pack florets tightly. Cover with plastic wrap and reserve in the refrigerator.
Meanwhile, make dressing by mixing remaining ingredients together in a bowl. To serve, invert each cup onto a lettuce lined salad plate. Divide dressing, spoon over salad, serve.
For more info about Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken check out their web site, www.marysueandsusan.