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We were honored to have Chef Jeremy Pacheco and Chef Joe Hobson from Lon’s at The Hermosa Inn join us to celebrate Uptown Wednesday’s 1st Anniversary with a very special demo! The chefs arrived at Uptown without a particular dish in mind to demonstrate, wanting to scour the market for special, unique ingredients that stood out to them. After coming across the abundance of fresh produce offered by McClendon Select they decided to make a superfood salad, inspired by a similar salad they offer on their lunch menu at Lon’s.
Chef Pacheco and Hobson picked up Purple Ninja Radish, Watermelon Radish, fennel, Rainbow Chard, dried cranberries, asparagus, Tuscan Kale, Purple Kale, Emerald Kale, Mint, Dill, Heirloom Tomatoes, Hawaiian Turmeric, a blend of red and black quinoa, Orange Blossom Honey and raw pecans from McClendon’s Select. They also couldn’t resist all of the fresh citrus from McClendon’s that is currently in season and added Naval Oranges, Meyer Lemons, Blood Oranges and Tangelos intended to make a citrus dressing bursting with native flavor. Then they picked up a few bottles of Tuscan Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Meyer Lemon Infused Olive Oil from Chacewater Olive Oil, a mixed bag of Micro-greens from Sky Hi! Sprouts, and Pichuberries and they were ready to toss together one SUPER salad!
Chef Pacheco started finely slicing all the fresh vegetables, including one veggie that Pacheco mentioned many people are intimidated by — fennel. “The easiest way to incorporate fennel in to a dish, and guarantee it won’t overpower a dish, is to slice it raw with a Japanese mandolin”, Pacheco shared. Though it can be used many ways, he uses it mostly fresh, in salad and thinks of it as a “replacement for celery.”
While Pacheco was slicing the other vegetables and pichuberries, Hobson was hard at work making the from scratch citrus vinaigrette — as he was zesting and slicing all the fresh citrus from McClendon’s the aromas of an orchard seem to waft throughout the entire market! Pacheco also noted that while his kids love to eat Meyer Lemons “right off the tree at home” that they can be a tad sour on their own, and to make sure to incorporate some of the other sweeter citrus to your dressings to “balance out the flavors.” Once zested and juiced, the chefs added the two types of olive oils from Chacewater, turmeric, and a touch of Orange Blossom Honey from McClendon’s to emulsify the dressing. As this is an oil based dressing, it may separate but the chefs said you could add a touch of Dijon Mustard to bring it together if you are planning to store it in your fridge — a great tip!
Next, the chefs combined all the greens, citrus, pecans, pichuberrries, dried cranberries, asparagus, Heirloom Tomatoes, and cooked quinoa and tossed several times with the Citrus Vinaigrette. They plated each serving and topped with the sliced radishes, fennel, dill, mint and mixed Micro-greens to complete an absolutely beautiful, vibrant salad that was loaded with seasonal flavor.
We would like to thank Chef Pacheco and Hobson from Lon’s for joining us, as well as McClendon’s Select, Chacewater Olive Oil, Pichuberry, and Sky Hi! Sprouts for contributing to this demonstration with delicious, fresh ingredients from Uptown. Congratulations to the several customers who won the $50 gift certificates to Lon’s we raffled off — they have several fun events coming up (view here) that you don’t want to miss!