Monday, July 16, 2012

When Artists Cook

 "When Artists Cook"
 A new series from Dion Dior & More


I love to paint food and I love to cook, as do so many of my artist friends.  I have quite the collection of cook books and for years I've been gathering my favorite recipes from friends, family, newspapers, and the internet, and saving them all in scrapbooks.  In this series, I'd like to share some of them with you, along with food inspired art and sketchbook pages.

Cooking is a creative art unto itself, and I'm not sure I'm really all that good at it, but I do love to do it, and my crazy family love to indulge my passion by happily consuming, commenting, and critiquing everything I produce.  I have aspirations of publishing all of my favorite recipes, along with food inspired art, into a cook book one day.  But for now, I'm going to share some of my favorite dishes with you.  I'll also be inviting some of my wonderful artist peeps to share their favorite recipes and food inspired art as well.

Who doesn't love a crisp, sweet pear salad?  It's the perfect accompaniment for light summer meals, is so simple and delicious, and can be served with almost anything. I serve this salad with a light summer pasta, or with grilled chicken breasts.  I've found loads of recipes that call for all sorts of dressing, but I favor the simple light lime and raspberry vinegar dressing of this one the best. 


1 Small baguette, cut into thin slices
Oil, for brushing
1 garlic clove, cut in half
100g (1cup) walnuts
200g (ricotta cheese
400g mixed salad leaves (spring mix)
2 pears, cut into 2cm cubes, mixed with 2 tablespoons lime juice

Lime Vinaigrette
60 ml (1/4 cup) lime juice
3 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
Preheat the oven to 180C (350F). Brush the baguette slices with a little oil, rub with the cut side of the garlic, then place on a baking try.  Bake for 10 minutes, or until crisp and golden.  Place the walnuts on a baking tray and roast for 5-8 minutes, or until slightly browned--shake the tray to ensure even coloring.  Allow to cool for 5 minutes.
To make the lime vinaigrette, whisk together the lime juice, oil, vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper in a small bowl.  Set aside until ready to use.

Spread some of the ricotta cheese on each crouton, then cook under a hot grill for 2-3 minutes, or until hot.
Place the mixed salad, pears, and walnuts in a bowl, add the vinaigrette and toss through. Serve with the ricotta cheese croutons. (Serves 4)

(This recipe comes from "Cool Food: Refreshing Food & Drink Ideas for Lazy Days", Murdoch Books 2002)

The sketchbook page of three pears is a simple watercolor. It was inspired by the weekly prompt in The Artists' Playroom, PEARS.  If you have a favorite recipe you'd like to share as part of the series When Artists Cook please email at diondior(at)yahoo(dot)com.

Thanks for checking in. xx