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Chopped Eggs and Onion Garnished with Grated Black Radish and Endive Salad in SHallot Vinaigrette
by Jayne Cohen

Yield: 4-6 servings

  • 3-4 Tablespoons excellent-quality olive oil or avocado oil
  • ½ cup onions, thinly sliced plus ½ cup onions, finely chopped
  • 6 hard-boiled large eggs, peeled and cut into eighths
  • Olive Oil Schmaltz, as needed, optional (see recipe)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a medium skillet, and add the sliced onions. (I use sliced onion here because chopped onion can be quite watery, so it doesn't fry as well and has a tendency to burn when made in small amounts.) Sauté over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until rich golden-brown. Salt and pepper lightly and remove from the heat to cool.

Scrape the sautéed onion and all the oil in the skillet into a wooden bowl and chop coarsely. Add the eggs and raw chopped onion and continue to chop until the mixture is well blended but not pastry. Mix in salt and lots of freshly ground pepper as you chop, or blend in the seasonings afterward with a fork (using a spoon will make the mixture too smooth). The mixture should hold together loosely; you will probably need to add some of the schmaltz or a bit more oil. Chill well, but remove from the refrigerator at least 15 minutes before serving.

COOK'S NOTE:

This should be rather coarse and crumbly, not at all paste-like. Using a food processor - even in pulsing motion - usually results in some overly large chunks and some paste. I find it much easier to chop this in an old-fashioned wooden chopping bowl with an inexpensive curved hand-chopper (like the half-moon-shaped Jewish hockmeisser or crescent-shaped Italian mezzaluna.)

Grated Black Radish and Endive Salad in Shallot Vinaigrette

Yield:
About 6 servings

  • ½ pound black radish (available at many greengrocers, specialty and ethnic markets, and some well-stocked supermarkets)
  • 5 Tablespoons shallots, finely chopped
  • About 1 Tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon lemon zest, grated
  • About 4 Tablespoons excellent-quality extra-virgin olive oil or Olive Oil Schmaltz (see recipe)
  • 2 small Belgian endives
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, preferably flat-leaf, chopped
  • Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Peel the radish and grate it coarsely in a food processor or using the large holes of a hand grater. Place in a colander or strainer, sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt, and mix well. Weight the radish down with a plate and heavy object, like a can of tomatoes, and allow to drain for about 1 hour, stirring every 15-20 minutes. Squeeze all moisture from the radish, rinse with fresh water, and squeeze thoroughly dry again. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the shallots, lemon juice, zest, and olive oil or Olive Oil Schmaltz; season well with salt and pepper. Stir in the grated radish and allow the flavors to mingle and meld for at least 20 minutes.

Cut the endives into fine shreds, then toss with the grated radish and shallot mixture. Taste and adjust seasonings (it takes quite a bit of salt), adding more olive oil or Olive Oil Schmaltz and lemon juice as needed. Sprinkle with the parsley.

Olive Oil Schmaltz

Yield: About 2/3 cup

  • 2 cups onion, finely chopped
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup olive oil

In a strainer, toss the onions with the salt. Cover them with a paper towel and weight down with a bowl or plate topped with a heavy object, like a large can of tomatoes. Let the onions drain for at least 30 minutes, tossing them occasionally. Place the onions in fresh paper toweling or a clean kitchen towel and squeeze out as much liquid as possible.

Warm the oil in a heavy 8- or 9-inch skillet. Add the onions and cook, uncovered, over the very lowest heat. As their moisture evaporates, the onions will shrink considerably and the ever-deepening gold oil will appear to increase. Stir occasionally, spreading the onions out in the skillet and making sure that they do not stick or color past gold. After cooking 60-75 minutes, they should be very soft and have exuded most of their liquid. Let the mixture cool slightly, and then scrape all the onions and oil into the blender. Blend to emulsify the ingredients, stopping to scrape down the contents of the blender when necessary. Continue blending until you have a smooth, rich puree. Store tightly covered in the refrigerator. It will thicken and become more "schmaltz"-like when chilled. It will keep for at least 3-5 days.

 


Adapted from
"The Gefilte Variations"
by Jayne Cohen,
Scribner, 2000.

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