Bright, Bit­ter, Bril­liant Why we keep com­ing back for more of chef Traci Des Jardins’ win­try salad

Food & Wine - - HANDBOOK - SAN FRAN­CISCO —NINA FRIEND RECIPE FROM JARDINIÈRE

WHEN TRACI DES JARDINS, the chef-owner of Jardinière in San Fran­cisco and a 1995 F&W Best New Chef, cooks at home, she likes to keep it sim­ple. This bright win­ter salad, which was on the res­tau­rant’s orig­i­nal menu and re­turns sea­son­ally, show­cases that sim­plic­ity with thought­fully paired pro­duce: The bit­ter greens are off­set by tangy or­ange juice. Sour kumquats bal­ance sweet dates. Pecorino adds tex­ture and sharp flavor, and salt and pis­ta­chios bring in crunch. Sherry vine­gar of­fers tart­ness while shal­lots have just the right amount of spice. “We’re al­ways look­ing for that bal­ance be­tween sweet, acid, and salt,” Des Jardins says. “I think that’s the magic.”

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