14 April 2008

Canlis House Signature Salad, an Event & an Award

Canlis House Signature Salad

I love to shop in the city..any city...do some sightseeing and eat at great restaurants. Seattle is one of my favourite cities for some down time and enjoying the surrounding country side with snow capped mountains and gulf islands sharing the same State. It is just about time for their Tulip Festival in the Skagit Valley as well.

Canlis House has been a landmark restaurant in Seattle for 50 years. To this day it preserves the traditions of creativity, energy and warmth that Peter Canlis began in 1950. Now in case you are wondering, this is even before my time!!! This recipe comes directly from their web site. I first drooled over this recipe on public television during one of their campaigns and was lucky enough to find it on the net. This time around I used a combination of Spring greens, including pea shoots. I also came across some Chocolate tomatoes (Rosso Bruno)...yes chocolate tomatoes from California...what's not to love about that!!!
Weekend Herb Blogging is a food blogging event sponsored by Kalyn of Kalyn's Kitchen where each week food bloggers from around the world photograph and blog about herbs and use them in their culinary triumphs. This weeks event is being hosted by our rising star, the one and only Susan of The Well-Seasoned Cook .

This month I am using mint in my dish. Mint is native to the Mediterranean and Western Asia and belongs to a large family with over 30 species including spearmint, peppermint, curly mint, ginger mint, apple mint, pineapple mint, eau de cologne mint, water mint, pennyroyal, Corsican mint, chocolate mint, lemon mint......you get the picture. It is a very prolific plant and interbreeds often which makes it difficult to identify its offspring.

All mints contain the volatile oil menthol, which gives mint that characteristic cooling, cleansing feeling.The Greeks believed mints could clear the voice, cure hiccups clean their banquet tables and add it to their baths to stimulate their bodies. The Romans used it in cooking, to aid digestion and as a mouth freshener.

Mint is part of Greek mythology and according to legend - "Menthe" originally a nymph, and Pluto's lover angered Pluto's wife, Persephone, who in a fit of rage turned Minthe into a lowly plant, to be trod upon. Pluto, unable to undo the spell, was able to soften it by giving Minthe a sweet scent, which would perfume the air when her leaves were stepped on.

In addition to all its lovely culinary and medicinal uses it deters rats and mice...so plant mint in your garden. I would always plant it in containers so that it wouldn't take over my gardens completely.

This is one of my favourite salads with it's fresh and clean flavours. You need fresh garden mint and a good bread to pull this salad off!!!

**Seattle's Canlis House Signature Salad**

1 large head romaine lettuce (Wash individual leaves in warm water, drain and dry in colander. Chill in refrigerator. Don't ever toss a Canlis Salad with warm wet leaves!!
1- 2 peeled ripe tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped green onion
3/4 cup freshly grated Romano cheese
1/2 cup very well done bacon
4 T chopped fresh mint*
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup croutons (made with butter and Italian seasoning)


1/2 cup garlic flavoured olive oil
the juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 coddled egg (see below)

Ingredient Notes:

*Mint - You can't use too much mint (experiment yourself)
*Olive Oil - The best Canlis salads use olive oil that has been flavoured with garlic cloves or rub the inside of the wooden bowl with garlic cloves (If you don't have a wooden salad bowl, you could add garlic powder to the dressing mix)
*Coddled Egg - Pour boiling water into a cup and put a whole egg (in the shell) into the hot water; let sit for 2 minutes. You may substitute with pasteurized egg mixture (found in the dairy section in cartons)
*Croutons - We make our own croutons. Butter and Italian seasoning.

In a large bowl place tomatoes, cut into eighths. Add the Romaine lettuce, sliced into 1-inch squares. Then add green onions, cheese (save some of the cheese to sprinkle over top of salad), bacon, oregano and 1/2 of the mint.

To make dressing: combine lemon juice, pepper and coddled egg in a bowl. Whisk together. Then slowly add olive oil, whisking constantly and tasting as you do. Pour over salad and toss thoroughly.

Add croutons and sprinkle with remaining Romano cheese and remaining mint.

Serves 4

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author/owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison.
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  1. Mint goes really well in salads. The coddled egg dressing sounds interesting!

  2. What a lovely fresh salad Val. Mint is so refreshing and I love its use in many dishes. I've heard many great things about Seattle and plan a visit there in the near future. Thanks for the tip and link to the restaurant.

  3. That;s a delicious looking salad and a well deserved award!

  4. Hi Val, what a great post! I really enjoyed learning about Greek mythology & mint. I just love the sound of your salad and oh my what a lovely dressing!!

    Congrats on your award very much deserved :)

    Rosie x

  5. What wonderful-looking salad! I can't wait until fresh lettuces appear at the Greenmarket!

  6. I hope that I am the first to comment on Val's post as I want my comment to be noticed.
    Val is a great cook and you must definitely try something from here menu. Val, the other day I made another of your salads that one with spinach and all the Greek ingredients feta, kalamata olives, oregano etc. and it was great (my twist to it was to add a beetroot instead of the pepper). I can't wait to try this one as well.

  7. Congratulations on being honored!

    The salad looks great. I love the combination of mint and oregano. I'm already thinking of what I'll be making for next week's lunch thanks to this.

  8. hi
    Hail to the mint -- its one of the wonder herbs that has both medicinal, thereupatic and spicy value. Good post and great you chose it.

  9. Congrats on the E award! I only wish I had beaten her in giving it to you! I have been super busy (explains my absence from my blogging!) but you were on my list to give this award to next (with 4 others!). I have to agree with you though, there are a lot of excellent bloggers out there - it is hard to pick and chooses!

    On another note - the salad looks awesome. I wouldn't mind that for lunch today, but will have to settle for something else!

  10. so refreshing, perfect for hong kong summer (soon) ^_^

  11. Fresh Herbs are delicious in salads Kevin:D
    Seattle is a great city Peter. We usually stay in Everett or much further north in the Bellingham area.
    Thak you Marie and Rosie:D
    It won't be long now Ann:D
    I am so glad you enjoyed the Greek Spinach Salad sister Ivy:D
    Thanks very much Short Dis, Anamika and Honey B:D
    Summer is coming Hong Kong Rita

  12. What an incredible salad Val...that is so interesting with the addition of mint!

    And congrats on your award!

  13. Chocolate tomatoes? Too cool! I must try this salad as I have a huge pot of mint on the deck and am loving its fresh aroma and flavor! Have not put it any of my salads yet, but I sure will now! I have been making big jugs of sun tea with the mint and, ahhhh...

  14. Your salad looks beautiful Vall really! xGloria

  15. Chocolate tomatoes? I am in love! With this salad, too. I have access to all kinds of mint plants, but the Rosso Bruno are going to take some major sleuthing. Thanks, Val, for the great recipe and interesting tidbits for WHB!

  16. congrats..you deserve the award...and...the salad looks great...and...
    can I just boast a bit and say that tonight we are havign salad from my very own garden, the first for htis year?!

  17. You well and truly deserve this award and I love the salad (would pass on the egg bit though!)
    I must do WHB soon...

  18. That salad looks lovely and fresh and you can never beat a bit of crispy bacon in my opinion!

  19. I Do have mint in my terrace!!! And I love it :D. What a beautiful post Val, I really enjoyed the Greek mythology story. When I was a kid I had such great times reading Greek and Roman mythology!!! But I don't remember most of the stories.

    Your Salad is Magnífica!!! Plenty of flavour and freshness... just great :D

  20. When I was a kid, the Canlis was one of my parents' favorite special-occasion restaurants. I remember how excited I was to go there the first time. Amazing that it is still going strong. Your salad looks terrific. Greg Atkinson, one of the Canlis executive chefs (now former, I believe) has a wonderful cookbook called "The Northwest Essentials Cookbook" that you should check out if you haven't seen it.
    As for the Tulip Festival, it is something everyone should experience once. The explosion of color in the fields is just amazing.

  21. I love mint, and I'd love to try those chocolate tomatoes. Great recipe.


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