Fare Trade

CobbNanci Q. How to thank a dear friend for an exquisite painting? A. work of art for a work of art – fare trade! While ChezHelvetica’s centerpiece Cobb Salad doesn’t match the effort taken to create the beautiful canvas, the overture was heartfelt. Robert Cobb’s classic Brown Derby recipe received a new coat of culinary paint with the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market‘s freshly-picked Romaine Hearts, Curly Endive, Rotisserie Chicken and award-winning Point Reyes Farmstead Blue Cheese. Safeway‘s Farmer John thick-sliced Bacon, Open Nature Cage-Free Eggs, Kalamata Olives, and Trader Joe’s Avocado and Pearl Tomatoes completed the platter – all dressed in Stonehouse Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Balsamic Vinegar, Dijon Mustard and a touch of Organic Cane Sugar. (Sadly, I found the perfect Chives purchased to garnish the Salad untouched in the refrigerator the next day…) Wild Mountain Raw Honey showered Medina Farms Blackberries, Strawberries and Tory Farms Oranges, also sweetening Mighty Leaf Ginger Tea, as confidantes shared exciting secrets in the new chapters of their lives!NanciPainting2

The Fig, The Fig Leaf, and The Honey

The directive to ChezHelvetica for the amazing “Ladies Who Lunch” get together was the creation of a pre-lunch nosh or nibble using Fig (or Date) and Rosemary. Given that this occasion fell on Rosh Hashanah, the serendipity was finding a recipe for Roasted Figs With Honey and Rosemary. Honey is a traditional food for Rosh Hashanah to evoke a sweet new year. With Rosemary freshly cut from the ChezHelvetica garden, Mission Figs from CalMart and Wild Mountain Raw Honey, the roasting commenced. Just learning that this holiday commemorates the creation of Adam and Eve, images of a Fig Leaf started swirling in my mind! This dish, served with Goat Cheese and Crackers, along with Marinated Fennel and an intoxicating Peach Cocktail made the perfect opener to three delicious Italian salads – Cantaloupe with Proscuitto, Watermelon with Arugula and Tomatoes with Mozzarella – and “Googlie-Eyed” Strawberries. Between the Peach Cocktail, Pinot Grigio, Chianti and fascinating conversation, all the honored guests left somewhat Googlie-Eyed as well!