Each day, Rancho Valencia’s executive chef, passes by Chino Farm on the way to work. The resort, a modern hacienda set on a 40-acre enclave of rolling hills in Rancho Sante Fe, a short drive from San Diego, has fully embraced a healthy lifestyle with the recent reopening of the 49 private villa suites. A concept that extends not only to championship tennis and golf, but to food. Having Chino Farm, helped made famous by Alice Waters and Chez Panisse, and an abundance of locally sourced, seasonal produce, not to mention flowers and honey from Rancho Valencia, allows Bauer the opportunity that few hotel chefs are given. The following recipe is Bauer’s fresh, nourishing take on the Andean grain quinoa which he sometimes serves in the hotel’s two restaurants, Veladora and The Pony Room.
-1 Part Quinoa
-2 parts water
-salt to taste
-1 Bouquet Garni (1 oz thyme, 6 bay leaves, 1 tbsp black peppercorns tied in a cheese cloth)
1.) In a saucepan, combine quinoa, water, salt, and bouquet garni. Bring to a boil and simmer until quinoa is tender, about 18 minutes.
2.) Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes.
3.) Strain excess liquid and set aside in a container to cool.
Roasted Tomato Sherry Dressing
1.) Pre heat oven to 400°F. Wash tomatoes, remove core, slice in half.
2.) Place halved tomatoes, skin side up, on sheet tray and place in oven for 20-25 minutes until the outer skin of the tomato is deeply brown.
3.) Let tomatoes cool completely. Combine all ingredients, except oil, and blend until smooth.
4.) Continue to blend, incorporating oil in a steady stream until dressing is fully emulsified. Set aside.
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
-Butter Lettuce, 3oz
-Cherry Tomatoes, sliced, 2 oz
-Tomato Sherry Dressing, 2.5 oz
-Toasted Quinoa, 3 oz
-Cranberry, 1 tbsp
-Asparagus, blanched, 1 oz
-Zucchini, sautéed, 1 oz
-Roasted Peppers, 1oz
-Harissa Marinated Shrimp, 7
1.) In a mixing bowl, combine butter lettuce, cherry tomatoes, and 1 oz of tomato sherry dressing. Toss together well, thoroughly coating the greens.
2.) In another mixing bowl, combine 1.5 oz of tomato sherry dressing, toasted quinoa, cranberry, asparagus, zucchini, roasted peppers, salt and pepper. Toss together.
3.) Present butter lettuce and cherry tomatoes in a large bowl, staking lettuce leaves to create height in the center. Place quinoa and vegetable mix over lettuce and arrange some of the colorful ingredients on top.
4.) Grill harissa marinated shrimp until just cooked through and place on top of salad.
Writer and photographer Nicholas Gill is the editor/publisher of New World Review. He lives in Lima, Peru and Brooklyn, New York. His work has appeared in publications such as the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, CondeNast Traveler, National Geographic Traveler, Afar, and Penthouse. Visit his personal website (nicholas-gill.com) for more information.