A Dinner Preceding the Summer Theatre

Reprinted by permission of the publishers, Lyons & Burford, from
"The Orvis Cookbook" (£19.00). All rights reserved.


Smoked Salmon with Ginger

-serves 8

  • 8 large slices smoked salmon (sliced with the grain, not down across it), each slice about 4 x 6 inches
  • 2 cups julienned scallions
  • 2 cups julienned cacumber, peeled and seeded
  • 2 cups julienned basil leaves (fresh)
  • Freshly ground green peppercorns
    • 6 egg yolks
    • Juice of 4 limes
    • Grated rind of 2 limes
    • 1 cup light olive oil
    • 1 cup peeled and diced fresh ginger
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • 4 tablespoons sugar
    • 1 cup water
    • White wine as thinner
    • 8 whole fresh basil leaves for garnish

    Combine ginger, sugar, and water in a heavy saucepan. Simmer until ginger is tender, about 15 minutes. Puree in a food processor and strain into small bowl. Set aside.

    Combine yolks, salt, and lime juice in mixer, on high speed. Slowly add the oil in a steady stream. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Add ginger puree and lime rind. Thin to light sauce consistency with dry white wine, if necessary.

    If you are using smoked salmon that you have frozen, slice it as soon as a knife will penetrate it. It's much easier to get thin, neat slices while it's still partially frozen, rather than after it has thawed completely. Be sure to slice with the grain, not straight down.

    Lay the slices of smoked salmon flat. Spread scallions, basil, and cucumber evenly on the salmon. Grind the green peppercorns to taste over all. Roll salmon up tightly, lengthwise. With a sharp knife, slice the rolls straight down into 3/8- inch-thick slices. Pour some sauce onto each of 8 serving plates. Arrange the rounds of salmon across the sauce. Garnish with a few fresh basil leaves.
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    Steamed New Potatoes

    Use very small new potatoes, scrub them well and leave the skin on. Steam them until they are very soft in the middle when tested with a fork. Drain and cut into halves quickly while still in the pan, and serve with plenty of butter and salt and pepper to taste.
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    Fresh Haricots Verts

    If you can't find true haricots verts, the best substitute is fresh green beans that have been frenched. Frenching beans is a true pain, particularly because the method originated in a vain attempt to duplicate the delicious French beans that are so thin and crisp just as they grow. If you can't find them this time, vow to grow your own next year, or put pressure on the produce manager of your local market and insist he carry them. Steam or boil them in a small amount of water until they are just al dente, and serve with melted butter add salt and pepper to taste on a small side plate with the potatoes.
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    Tomato and Dill Salad
    -serves 8

    • 5 large skinned tomatoes
    • Pinch sugar
    • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
    • 1 egg yolk
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • Cayenne pepper
    • 1 egg white, beaten until stiff
    • ½ teaspoon dry mustard
    • Pinch chili pepper
    • Grated rind of 1 1emon
    • 1 crushed garlic clove
    • ½ cup salad oil
    • 3 tablespoons cream
    To skin the tomatoes, pour boiling water over them (in a pan), let them sit 2 minutes, refresh with cold running water, and the skins will slide right off. Cut tomatoes in thick slices, sprinkle with very little sugar, let stand 5 minutes, and then sprinkle the chopped dill over them. Meanwhile, put into a bowl the egg yolk, ½ teaspoon salt, cayenne, mustard, chili pepper, lemon rind, and garlic. Mix well and add oil slowly. Then mix in cream, salt to taste, and the beaten egg white. Mix lightly with tomatoes and serve.
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    Cointreau Sponge with Blueberries and Peaches
    -serves 8 to 10 amply