Today we continue our series of posts, describing the preparations for our Argentinian tango inspired 3D gathering, which will be held around Valentine's Day for ten lovely couples. Learn more in post I.
Victoria and Federico, Natalie's amazing tango instructors.The word goes to Natalie once again:
"Last time, we mentioned that we were not only inspired by the beauty of the Argentinean tango, but by its mechanics. Tango is an almost purely improvisational dance, centered around several basic elements. The dance is like a puzzle, which is put together differently each time. Although it mostly showcases the beauty of the woman, the man does the leading, communicating with subtle body language. The idea is that the female dancer never quite knows how her partner will construct the dance and how he will interpret the music. Both partners have important things to contribute to the dance. It really does take two to tango.
When my husband and I took classes, the very first thing that we had to learn is how to walk the tango. The follower had to walk backwards, holding the shoulders of the leader, with eyes closed. The idea was to move by receiving sensual instruction from the leader. I thought that my "I don't dance" type of guy and I would never be able to accomplish this. But in just a few steps, it was happening. We were amazed.
To me, those mechanics are clearly associated with any committed bond between two partners. Argentinean Tango is like a successful relationship - so hard to master, but once you do, you can Tango through life together."
I, in turn, was inspired by Natalie's idea to hand write our menus on actual music paper, when I worked on the styling of this salad. It's not easy to work within a monochromatic palette (we are only using white, pink, and red this time), especially when making a salad. I chose roots like jicama, fennel, and daikon radish for the white color. Meanwhile, radishes and beautiful organic fuji apples provided some nice reds. The wonderful pink comes from jicama, pickled together with sour cherries and pomegranate. We're also blessed with the growing season in the midst of the winter here in Florida, and I was happy to include some local strawberries, along with pickled cherries and cowberries.
There's a nice balance of sweet, tart, and crispy here, complemented by a dollup of our almond cheese and pomegranate vinaigrette. Despite its striking monochromatic appearance, the salad works best on a bed of baby greens. We've had the most beautiful local greens at our market for the past couple of months. Their freshness and tenderness is incredible - our pay off for hot summer months when nothing grows in Florida.
Pickled Cherries, Jicama, and Daikon Radish
1/2 cup raw apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons raw agave nectar or another sweetener of choice
1 cup or more fresh or thawed sour cherries - pitted (or substitute with fresh pomegranate juice)
1/2 medium sized jicama - sliced or cubed
a few slices or cubes of Daikon radish (optional)
In a small bowl, combine the apple cider vinegar with agave. Pour over the rest of the ingredients and let it sit for thirty minutes. Drain and keep refrigerated in a covered glass container until ready to serve.
3 tablespoons of fresh pomegranate juice or pomegranate reduction, for a more intense flavour
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon raw honey
salt and freshly ground black pepper - to taste
1/4 cup olive or grapeseed oil
In a mixing bowl, whisk together all the ingredients, with the exception of oil. Add the oil while whisking, in a steady stream.
Fruit and Root Salad
One or two red crispy sweet apples (Fuji or Gala) - sliced or cubed
1 cup fresh radishes - sliced
1 fennel bulb - thinly sliced
1 cup or more fresh strawberries - sliced
few slices or cubes of fresh jicama
pickled cherries, jicama, and Daikon radish
cowberries, or pomegranate kernels for garnish
Place apple and radish slices in a bowl with cold water and some freshly squeezed lemon juice, to prevent apple discoloration and reduce the bitterness of radishes.
Place salad greens in a bowl and top with the remaining ingredients. Include a few dollups of almond cheese and drizzle with pomegranate vinaigrette. Garnish with pickled cherries, cowberries, or pomegranate kernels.