August 20, 2019

Chef Jeff Salad [Recipe]

This salad is named after world class chef Jeff Thickman of Florence, Italy. He is a family friend and was in town this week. I invited him, his partner Igor and friend Lissy down to Santa Monica and was planning on treating them to Shutter’s for lunch and a view. Last minute they said they didn’t want to go out and preferred to eat at my house.

Great. My mentor, my hero, personal chef to Zubin Mehta who has cooked for the likes of Clinton and Sting, was coming over for lunch and I had nothing in the house to eat! This is often when the best food comes to form: necessity is the mother of all invention apparently.

Needless to say they all loved it, thank God. What makes this particular salad special are the celery leaves and mint, both like background instruments that played perfectly into the harmony of the main dish.

Ironically, the celery had been in my fridge for weeks and was well on its way to wilting, hence I used only the leaves. The mint was not in the best of shape either, but chopped up no one knew the difference. Please note that the tuna was Italian tuna packed in olive oil (from Costco, mind you) and is actually much, much better than even the best water packed stuff. Though I dressed the salad with only olive oil, lemon and salt, I did serve some tzatziki on the side, which I realize that only cooking teachers happen to have on hand in the fridge. But let me tell you, though not necessary, with the tzatziki – double yum.

for 4-6