Recipe Improv: Chef Harold Moore on the Hot Seat

Recipe Improv: A new feature in which we throw out random ingredients to a well-known chef and ask him or her to come up with a recipe incorporating all those ingredients that's doable for a home cook.

Up first! Chef Harold Moore, chef/owner of Commerce, who has worked under Daniel Boulud and Jean-George Vongerichten.

His ingredients: Nectarines, olives and pine nuts

And here's what he came up with. If any of you have a trio of ingredients that you'd like to see a chef tinker with, comment or shoot me an email. Recipe improv will be played regularly.

Fennel Salad with Pine Nut Citrus Vinaigrette Serves 2

For the dressing: 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted and crushed (Reserve 1 tablespoon uncrushed) 1 tablespoon nectarine juice 1 teaspoon lime juice 1 teaspoon orange juice 1/2 cup olive oil 1 tablespoon walnut oil, optional For the salad: 1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced 1 large nectarine, segmented 1/8 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced

Make the dressing: Crush the toasted pine nuts while they are still hot, remembering to reserve 1 tablespoon uncrushed nuts on the side. In a bowl, combine the citrus juices with the crushed pine nuts. When the crushed nuts have cooled in the juice, whisk the olive and walnut oils into the citrus juice-pine nut mixture to make a vinaigrette. Toss the salad ingredients in the dressing, adding salt and crushed pepper to taste. Top with the dry pine nuts. Serve with grilled sardines, if desired.

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