This blog is written by celebrity chef and THOR Kitchen brand advocate Derrick Fox. Each month, Chef Fox will be sharing his favorite recipes with step-by-step directions, pictures and his signature style.
I’m so excited to share this recipe with you: my very artistic and colorful Snap Pea Salad with Pistachio Vinaigrette, Herbes de Provence Goat Cheese Mousse, and Charcoal Buttermilk Foam.
I know it sounds like a lot, but it’s a salad that looks more difficult than it actually is. Plus, it’s also a fun salad to really bring out your artistic side.
With my brand new THOR Kitchen Suite, I thought I would start with a cold dish to really highlight the unsung hero of the kitchen: the refrigerator! Obviously we all love a nice range and bask over a wonderful dishwasher (anything to make life easier), but sometimes we forget that having a really nice fridge gives our food longer shelf life and our salads that crisp crunch we most appreciate. I’ve swapped out for a fridge on top and freezer on the bottom and I didn’t realize how much my back needed this! I open and close the fridge a lot in a day, and now that I don’t have to bend over to see the back of the fridge, I’ve got more energy to spend on cooking.
This salad recipe is one of my favorites! First, it’s delicious. Second, it’s crunchy. Most of all, I was inspired by artist Taft McWhorter, a dear friend and abstract painter. I saw his art and instantly wanted to make food that mimicked his art. Enjoy!
Snap Pea Salad with Pistachio Vinaigrette, Herbes de Provence Goat Cheese Mousse and Charcoal Buttermilk Foam
To prepare snap peas: Peel and rinse. I like to slice into thirds long ways for a fun visual presentation when we put this salad together. Once you have peeled and sliced the snap peas, set aside.
To prepare pistachio vinaigrette: I recommend you use a high powered blender, like a Vitamix or a Blendtec. If you don’t have either of those, you can buy pistachio paste and use a ¼ cup of pistachio paste to ½ cup of grapeseed oil.
Place pistachios in your blender with the diced shallot, Dijon mustard and rice wine vinegar. With the blender on medium-high speed, start pouring in the grapeseed oil fast enough that the blender doesn’t get stuck, but not too fast that it doesn’t emulsify. Once blended, add salt and pepper to taste. It’s okay if the vinaigrette is a little chunky. I think it’s fun to have that texture. You will have plenty of vinaigrette left over to use for other salads or as you wish.
To prepare the goat cheese mousse: Place goat cheese in your stand mixer with the Greek yogurt. Whip on medium high for about 30 seconds, add herbes de Provence, then stream in the heavy cream slowly until it whips together and you have stiff peaks. Add more cream if you want it to be smoother, but be sure not to add too much that you don’t have any peaks. Place mousse in piping bag. I use this mousse for so many dishes because it’s extremely flavorful and versatile!
To prepare Charcoal Buttermilk Foam: Place the buttermilk and charcoal in a 32-ounce cup and blitz with stick blender. Mix until it turns black and add salt to taste. Then sprinkle in the Ultra-Tex 3, which is a natural vegan and gluten-free thickening agent made from tapioca. Blend until it thickens. Pour the mixture into a Whipped Cream Dispenser, charge with one charge and shake well. I spray the foam on the plate to create a splatter. Now if you don’t have the WCD, you can just blend ingredients together. Below are a couple photos to show you fun ways to put the foam on the plate.
To assemble: Coat the snap peas with your preferred amount of pistachio vinaigrette. I love a salad with a lot of dressing, but some don’t and that’s okay too! I suggest using 3-4 tbsp of dressing for 2 cups of snap peas.
On your plate, spoon out a large spoonful of Charcoal Buttermilk Foam into the center of the plate. With the back of your spoon give the foam a light tap to make the foam splatter. Now in the middle of that splatter, place your snap peas. Artistically around the plate, dollop the goat cheese mousse in the shape of large, medium and small chocolate kisses. Drizzle more pistachio vinaigrette around the plate and scatter micro greens for a pop of color and added nutrition.