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Candle 79 Cookbook: Modern Vegan Classics from New York's Premier Sustainable Restaurantby Joy Pierson
1: Amuse-Bouches and Appetizers
At Candle 79, we have developed an array of amuse-bouches and appetizers to amuse the palate and tantalize the taste buds. You can create these dishes at home and serve them as a first course or as small bites from a buffet or passed-around trays. Whether made for a family meal, a special-occasion dinner, or a cocktail party, they are always welcome treats and pair beautifully with wine and drinks. From savory, nutty-flavored roasted artichokes and crunchy, bite-sized arancini to simple avocado salsa and homemade hummus, these healthy, tasty bites are great fun to make and share with loved ones, friends, and family.
Heirloom Tomato–Avocado Tartare
This vibrant tartare, made with a raw mushroom ceviche, avocados, and ripe, juicy heirloom tomatoes, pops with all the tastes of summer. It is wonderful as an appetizer served with tortilla chips or crackers (our favorite is raw flaxseed crackers) or as a side dish for a summer barbecue. It’s very popular with raw food enthusiasts and carnivores alike.
1⁄4 pound oyster mushrooms, diced
1 shallot, thinly sliced
3 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of 2 lemons
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 pound heirloom tomatoes, seeded and diced
2 ripe avocados
2 cucumbers, peeled, halved, seeded, and cut into 1⁄4-inch dice
Tortilla strips, for garnish (see page 30)
Sprouts or microgreens, for garnish
Serves 4 to 6
In a small bowl, combine the mushrooms, shallot, scallions, olive oil, 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste.
Put the tomatoes in a large bowl. Halve the avocados. Carefully press the blade of a sharp knife into the pit, twist, and pull gently to remove. Cut 1⁄4-inch slices horizontally and vertically into the flesh of the avocados to make medium-sized squares. Scoop out the flesh with a large spoon and add it to the tomatoes, along with the diced cucumbers.
Add the mushroom mixture and the remaining lemon juice to the tomato mixture. Gently mix with a large spoon, making sure not to mash the avocado. Taste and adjust the seasonings if necessary. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
To serve, present the tartare in a bowl. You can also offer individual servings: pack the tartare into a 2-inch ring mold to shape it, then remove the mold. Garnish with the tortilla strips and sprouts and serve at once.
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