Do you remember the last time you really laughed? Not the everyday laugh you give the barista and her joke about the rain, but the kind that begins in your belly and ends with tears in your eyes and sore sides from mirth. The kind that makes you feel like a child again, like all is right with the world, like you can do anything.
This past weekend my
Wine Book Club took our annual trip to Walla Walla where we enjoyed days of delicious tastings, nights of ridiculous dancing, and slow to start mornings shared over coffee and Pringles. Amidst the sultry readings of wine tasting notes (“What do you mean you can’t taste the leather and wet rocks?!”) and epic meals, we all became kids again, if only for a moment.
Perhaps no moment of the trip felt more carefree than our Saturday evening tandem biking adventure to the Safeway, to get mixers for our cocktails, our palettes tired of wine, albeit briefly. The heat of the day was waning, and buoyed by the freedom of our weekend escape, we tied up our sundresses, and loaded ourselves onto the rickety, double-bikes. We shouted and shrieked (okay, mostly that was me), Nadia the personal trainer called out instructions, and the locals looked at us for the fools that we were. Careening around corners and filled with a mix of fear and joy, I found myself laughing harder than I have in months.
Of course, no trip to Walla Walla would be complete without ridiculously good meals. A new addition to the food scene there is a brilliant breakfast spot, aptly named Bacon & Eggs. Everything we had was exceptional, from the Migas to the Heirloom Tomato Benedict, set amongst a decor that is both witty and whimsical, finding a perfect balance of each.
Dinner at T.Maccarones is a must, and while it’s hard to say what was the best, this salad was the only thing we ordered two of so perhaps it deserves the prize. The girl’s were adamant that I figure out how to recreate the addictively pleasing combination of the salty arugula, bitter frisee, juicy pear, and finger licking white truffle vinaigrette. The good news is that this is pretty damn close. The bad news is, you might never want to eat anything else ever again.
Arugula and Pear Salad with White Truffle Vinaigrette
Inspired by T.Maccarones in Walla Walla
1 bag arugula, washed and dried
1 cup frissee, washed and dried
1 very ripe pear, cut julienne style
1/2 cup pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
Hunk good parmesan
1 egg yolk
2 TB shallots, coarsely chopped
2 TB champagne vinegar
1/2 cup good quality olive oil
1/2 TB honey, or to taste
2 TB Truffle Oil, or to taste
Salt and Pepper
- Using an immersion blender or food processor, combine the shallot, vinegar, and egg yolk for about 10 seconds. Let sit for 5 minutes.
- Adding in a very slow stream, combine the olive oil, allowing the dressing to thicken and emulsify.
- Add the honey and truffle oil, using more or less pending on how “truffle-y” you like it to be. Add a shake salt and pepper.
- In a large bowl place the arugula, frissee, pear, and pecans. Toss well with the dressing, and finish with parmesan shavings.
- Prepare to become obsessed with this salad.