Extra Virgin Addiction

by Kimberly Hickok

It occurred to me the other day, that I may possibly have a slight addiction to cooking shows. Like the rest of society, I’m going to blame this on my mother. She‘s the one that was watching the Galloping Gourmet. I was only four or five at the time but I distinctly remember him (perhaps because he was slightly tipsy?).

She watched Julia Child too. That probably explains all the crepes we ate – both savory and sweet. My favorite were the ones she rolled around chicken and baked with a white sauce topped with gruyere.

I digress.

By the time I was a teenager, I was watching cooking shows all on my own. Yan Can Cook and The Frugal Gourmet were two of my favorites.

What I learned from these shows, and my mom, was how to take a broader view of food. Experiment with spices. Try a new technique.

Today there are more cooking shows than I can keep up with and the things that appeal to me now are much different than they were in my teens. And while I enjoy many of them, my new favorite is Extra Virgin with Gabriele Corcos and Debi Mazar. Think reality show meets cooking show.

These two are a real life couple. (I remember her from her gal pal days with Madonna!) He’s Italian and she’s a city girl. Together they’re raising their two children to have an appreciation of where there food comes from.

This Orange, Red Onion and Fennel salad is an excellent example of putting together ingredients that you might not normally combine.

I’ve been eating this salad all winter. My family loves it and so do our dinner guests. It’s the perfect accompaniment with hearty winter stews or braised dishes. If you don’t like arugula. No problem. Switch it out with mesclun, baby spinach or whatever you like. The idea is to experiment.

Just a few ingredients. . .


Serve on a pretty plate and you’re good to go!

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