A journal of Food Adventures
by writer/photographer Julie Ann Fineman
and writer Lee Glenn

Smoked Salmon, English Pea Puree, Radish, Cucumber, Celery Root, Bronze Fennel and Pea Tendrils

Dante Cecchini

This dish is all about the ingredients. At the base of the plate I made a English Pea puree; fresh English peas need to be blanched in seasoned water until completely cooked, then immediately placed into an ice bath to prevent the color from turning and to prevent overcooking. Once the peas are strained, then place into a vita prep and blend until smooth. English peas can become very starchy, so to help out the blending ad a little lemon juice and olive oil to thin it out. The lemon juice is nice because it brightens up the flavor. The olive oil is a nice flavor, but is more added for “mouth feel,” smoothing/slicking the texture. Season to taste and pass through a chinois. 

The other puree of white little dots was celery root puree. Simply clean the celery root, and slice. Take the slices and cover with heavy cream in a saucier; season. Cook slow and low until celery root is soft. Strain, puree and pass through the chinois. Chill before serving. 

Next are the Snap peas. They are cleaned, blanched in seasoned water, then shocked. The important thing about the snap peas is the texture. They need to stop cooking at al dente. Then sliced on the bias. The other vegetable that was on the dish where French breakfast radishes. These were simply sliced thin over the mandolin into ice water. The ice was helps them to curl. 

Add thinly sliced smoke salmon.

To garnish: The tendrils from the English peas, baby fennel fronds, fleur de sel, edible flowers such as violas, and pansy.