Verjus (pronounced vair-ZHOO) is the tart, fresh juice of unripe wine grapes. It is a culinary ingredient indigenous to the world's wine producing regions that is used in sauce making, for poaching fish and meat, and to dress lettuces, vegetables and fruit. Verjus or "verjuice" as it is sometimes called, literally means green juice in the sense that it's made from fruit that has yet to fully ripen — it's green. It is used to add acidity to foods, an important component in food and in cooking.
Ingredients: grape juice, sulphur dioxide (as a preservative).
Chopped Vegetable Salad with Verjus (Serves 4)
This is a colorful salad with lots of different textures and flavors. All of the vegetables should be close to the same size if possible, using the corn kernels as a guide. Present the salad in a radicchio 'cup' or on a few leaves of butter lettuce.
1/4 cup chopped green beans
1 ear of corn, kernels cut from the cob
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped carrots
1 tablespoon chopped red onion
1/4 cup yellow zucchini, diced
1/4 cup tomato, peeled, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup Verjus Blanc
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 avocado, diced
1 handful of baby lettuce, coarsely chopped
Salt and black pepper to taste
Instructions: Blanch the green beans and corn for about 30 seconds in salted water, then plunge into an ice bath for a few seconds to stop the cooking. Drain well. Prepare the remaining vegetables placing them in a large mixing bowl as you chop them. Add the avocado last so that it retains its color and doesn't get over mixed. Season the salad with salt and pepper, then divide among four plates and serve.
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