Chef Chat: Payton Curry's Fall Panzanella Salad and Spezzatini of Pork

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At Caffe Boa, executive chef Payton Curry (whom we profiled yesterday in Chef Chat) uses farm-fresh, local ingredients in his dishes, and these two recipes are no exception.

The Fall Panzanella Salad features products that are in season right now, so if you want the freshest dish available, head to a store soon.


It's a great precursor to the Spezzatini of Pork, which is Curry's variation on a Yankee pot roast. He says you can modify this dish by using the cauliflower paste as a side dish, or you can use it instead of butter and cream in pasta dishes.

Here's how to make it:

Fall Panzanella Salad with heirloom baby lettuces, butternut squash puree, marinated fall mushrooms and goat cheese
Serves four

Butternut Squash Puree
1 organic butternut Squash
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Slice squash in half lengthwise, brush olive oil on and season with salt. Roast squash on a parchment-lined sheet pan until tender, about 40-50 minutes. While still warm, puree in food processer with 2 tablespoons brown butter.

Marinated Mushrooms
1 bunch oyster mushrooms
¼ pound chanterelle mushrooms
1 bunch hen of the woods mushrooms
¼ cup balsamic vinaigrette (see below)

Toss with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cut the stems off and toss on a medium to high heat grill. Turn once, and immediately place in a bowl and toss with enough vinaigrette to coat. Cover bowl. Reserve.

Balsamic Vinaigrette
3 cups olive oil
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons Shallots, minced
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh chives, minced

Add mustard to a standard food processor and slowly add balsamic to form a slurry. Once combined, slowly drizzle in olive oil to form a stable emulsion. Using a rubber spatula, remove and place in a mixing bowl and add remaining ingredients. Reserve.

1 pound mixed heirloom baby lettuces
2 cups croutons
1 tablespoon chives
1 tablespoon shallots
Salt and pepper to taste

Using both the balsamic vinaigrette and the liquid left over from the grilled mushrooms, lightly toss the croutons and mushrooms in a large bowl and season to your liking. Let stand for 5 minutes. Gently toss greens with croutons and mushrooms.

Spoon butternut squash puree on bottom of the plate and place composed salad on top. Garnish with goat cheese.

Spezzatini of Pork with snap peas, heirloom potatoes, carrots and cauliflower ravioli
4 servings


1 pound standard egg yolk pasta recipe
1 pound cauliflower
1 russet potato
Milk to cover

Slowly cook cauliflower and potato in milk mixture until tender, and puree to a paste. Season with salt and pepper. Roll and shape into whatever size floats your boat.

Spezzatini of Pork
1 pork shoulder
2 yellow onions, medium diced
3 carrots, medium diced
4 celery stalks, medium diced
¼ pound fingerling potato, roasted
4 tablespoons garlic, slivered
6 tablespoons shallots, minced
1 pint red wine
1 gal veal stock

Cut pork shoulder into 1 inch by 1 inch cubes. Season with salt and pepper, and sear in a hot pan until golden brown. Remove from pan and add vegetable mixture. Cook until golden and add pork back into the pan. Add veal stock and bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer as soon possible. Cook until tender. Chill.

Cook ravioli until tender and reheat pork mixture and add peas and russet potato. Then spoon over the top of the raviolis. Garnish with fresh breadcrumbs, freshly grated horseradish and cracked pepper.

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