The New Irish Table: Recipes from Ireland's Top Chefs (and a Salmon Salad Recipe!)

by Dr. Jessie Voigts / Jan 31, 2017 /
Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture

Hungry? I've got a book (and a recipe!) for you. I recently was sent, for review, an Irish cookbook, entitled The New Irish Table: Recipes from Ireland's Top Chefs. Now, our wandering educators will know how much we LOVE Ireland, but if you're new: WE LOVE IRELAND. There's something magical about that island - the land, views, friendly people, deep culture, music, and, of course, great food. As you know, there's more to Irish food than soda bread and fish chowder (although I love them so). This book will definitely change your view of Irish cooking - and inspire you to not only cook these incredible recipes at home, but journey to Ireland to eat well. The New Irish Table: Recipes from Ireland's Top Chefs is published by Charlesbridge and edited by Leslie Conron Carola, owner and director of Arena Books Associates, LLC, has produced many illustrated books, including Ireland: A Luminous Beauty; Spectacular Ireland, and Ireland’s Treasure’s with Peter Harbison.

And, look below to discover a recipe from the cookbook - a delicious salmon salad. I've included photos of 4 other recipes from the cookbook - check back over the next month to discover each recipe (thank you, Charlesbridge!).  

The New Irish Table: Recipes from Ireland's Top Chefs (and a Salmon Salad Recipe!)

Here's what I love about the New Irish Table: 

The recipes are creative, extraordinary, and showcase the essence of Ireland's artisanal movement. Each one leads you to imagine place, people, and taste.

The ten chefs featured come from all four provinces (including Northern Ireland). The recipes, in menu form, share the diversity of the chef experience.

Each chef section teaches me more about Ireland - and makes me want to head back, as soon as I can.

The photography in the book is stunning - both the food photos and the landscape photos. (Makes me want to head back, see above.)

Each geographic section teaches me - about the culture, landscape, and artisanal food creators. (See above. You'll want to visit, too.)

I've never seen a cookbook (and I own over 15,000!) that has enticed me more, into both learning and cooking. And traveling, of course. Highly recommended.

Rhubarb and Ginger Crème Brûlée. Recipe by Chef Tim O’Sullivan of Renvyle House in Connemara, Co. Galway. From The New Irish Table: Recipes from Ireland's Top Chefs
Rhubarb and Ginger Crème Brûlée (recipe here!)
Recipe by Chef Tim O’Sullivan of Renvyle House in Connemara, Co. Galway. 

We were lucky enough to catch up with Carola, and ask her about the book, inspiration, Ireland, and more. Here's what she had to say...
 
Please tell us about your new book, The New Irish Table: Recipes from Ireland's Top Chefs...
Ireland today is a food-lover’s choice. With Tourism Ireland, we have gathered recipes from ten of the finest chefs in the country who have transformed the culinary landscape of Ireland with their focus on fresh, local, seasonal foods, simply prepared. Tourism Ireland says that Ireland today is a paradise for epicures and refers to these chefs as ambassadors for the country.

More than 80 recipes are accompanied by more than 175 full-color photographs of food and landscape, including sidebars on artisanal food producers. Organized by province—Leinster, Munster, Connacht, and Ulster, this culinary journey circles the island from Dublin to Wexford to Cork to Kerry to Galway and to Northern Ireland to witness the breadth of this natural, seasonal, farm-to-fork movement. 

Each chef offers a simple lunch menu—from salads to mousse, to soup, to fish and chips—followed by two imaginative three-course dinners. Some chefs have even offered a treat for tea. Included are artisan cheeses, traditional smoked salmon, scallops (some with Northern Ireland’s traditional Boxty), fish, lamb, beef, venison—each with its own variation, flavorful vegetables, and glorious desserts with fresh berries, rhubarb, or lemon curd. The simple preparations—often seared, sautéed, roasted, or poached fish or meat and puréed or chopped vegetables—make these dishes easy for a home cook to prepare. 

Potato, Prawn, and Lime Soup. Recipe by Chef Kevin Dundon of Dunbrody House in Arthurstown, Co. Wexford. From The New Irish Table: Recipes from Ireland's Top Chefs
Potato, Prawn, and Lime Soup (recipe here!)
Recipe by Chef Kevin Dundon of Dunbrody House in Arthurstown, Co. Wexford.

What inspired you to create this book?
More than 10 years ago, I had lunch 2 days in a row at Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkeley, CA. I had admired her work and was excited to be there. The food was connected to the land. It was imaginative and simply prepared: all seasonal, local, fresh. Everything I believed in. The fresh, local, seasonal mantra was a natural for me. Alice Waters was an inspiration. Over many years, I have traveled to Ireland for research for books I was developing on Irish cultural history. At the outset, food was not a particular highlight of my trips. I noticed an exciting concentration on fresh, local, seasonal food simple prepared. Through the courtesy of Tourism Ireland in New York, I was introduced to several wonderful chefs and sites. These chefs were working with local, seasonal, natural foods in the same way as Alice Waters. The first extraordinary site was Ballymaloe House, in East Cork owned and run by Darina Allens’s mother-in-law Myrtle Allen. Darina was the chef at Ballymaloe and started the Ballymaloe Cookery School. A meal at Ballymaloe seemed like a gift from the gods. A few years later I met Kevin Dundon at Dunbrody House in Co. Wexford. And then I began to look at Irish food in a new way. At Tourism Ireland events in New York, I met Martin Bealin from Co. Kerry, Catherine Fulvio from Co. Wicklow, and Ian Orr from Derry in Northern Ireland. By then, I thought we needed a book to show the grace of Irish food. Pub food is delicious and fun, but the more polished touch of simply prepared seasonal, local, fresh food is something special. And these chefs that I had met were winning award after award. It was a natural!
 
What might surprise people to learn about the new culinary landscape in Ireland /eating in Ireland? 
We have gathered recipes from some of the finest chefs in Ireland in this celebration of Ireland and its food today. These chefs have transformed the culinary landscape of Ireland with an ethos of fresh, local, seasonal foods prepared simply. An abundance of fresh produce is not new to Ireland, but food lovers are responding to the exciting treatment of those fine ingredients. Each of these chefs connects with the environment; they are masters at using local ingredients from the miles of farmland and the surrounding sea, lakes, and plentiful rivers carving through the land. The new wave of artisan producers and imaginative chefs work together as a team. It’s all a team—the earth and its splendid fare, the farmers and producers, the chefs with the seasonal, natural ethos. Today, Ireland is a real food destination, and these chefs are ambassadors for Ireland. 

Our chefs demonstrate that the culinary artisan food culture is countrywide, stretching from coast to coast, east to west, north to south. There is variety in the style of food presentation: some are as casual as an easy dinner at home, others are stylishly sculpted for a fine restaurant. From no-fuss style to elegantly staged productions—there is room for all. Artisan food-producers and chefs concentrate on fresh, local, seasonal produce offering an enticing contemporary taste.

Carpaccio of Scallops with Chilli, Lemon, and Wood Sorrel. Recipe by Chef Darina Allen of Ballymaloe Cookery School in Shannagary, Co. Cork. From The New Irish Table: Recipes from Ireland's Top Chefs
Carpaccio of Scallops with Chilli, Lemon, and Wood Sorrel
Recipe by Chef Darina Allen of Ballymaloe Cookery School in Shannagary, Co. Cork. 

How did you pick the chefs you feature?
I wanted to show the breadth of this extraordinary natural “farm to fork” movement. We had to circle the island. I had met several of these chefs on my trips, and at events in New York and Philadelphia at which the chefs had prepared a meal. By consulting with Tourism Ireland, we selected the 10. It was very easy, each of our chefs was winning award after award, many appeared on Food TV shows in Ireland and here in the U.S. Many had written cookbooks. We could have and would have liked to include many more chefs! We circled the island from Dublin down the east coast, across the south, and up the west coast to Northern Ireland. 

Every one of the outstanding chefs selected from all four provinces offers an imaginative style of food preparation, demonstrating respect for the old while adding their own contemporary creativity to the process.

Cod, Octopus, Purple Broccoli, Broccoli Puree, and Horseradish Mayonnaise. Recipe by Chef Derry Clarke of l’Ecrivain, Co. Dublin. From The New Irish Table: Recipes from Ireland's Top Chefs
Cod, Octopus, Purple Broccoli, Broccoli Puree, and Horseradish Mayonnaise (recipe and interview here!)
Recipe by Chef Derry Clarke of l’Ecrivain, Co. Dublin.

Food in Ireland is about eating local. How can readers translate that to their homes, while staying true to these Irish recipes?
Throughout the book, we identify the sources for much of the produce used in the recipes. The reader/home cook is encouraged to be aware of the source of the foods they choose to work with. We should all eat local seasonal foods. We identify what these chefs have selected to encourage your use of your own seasonal local ingredients. Dried seaweed, used in a few recipes, is available here in most health food stores. We often offer some variations (cod instead of Sweaty Betty fish from the north west coast, for example.) Read and understand the recipes. Use your imagination; you don’t have to follow the recipes slavishly. Use ingredients that you enjoy. 
 
What's up next for you?
Perhaps another Irish cultural history project. Some nonfiction children’s books.
 
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Don’t be afraid to experiment in the kitchen with fine fresh ingredients. And don’t be afraid to respect those fine, fresh ingredients; treat them gently!

 

Recipe: Orange, Spinach, and Salmon Salad

 

Recipe by Chef Catherine Fulvio of Ballyknocken House and Cookery School in Glenealy, Ashford, Co. Wicklow 

Simple, healthy, and colorful, this is a delicious salad. It’s perfect for a starter for dinner or as a main course for lunch. And it’s all Irish—smoked salmon, delicious garden greens, and of course, potatoes!

Recipe: Orange, Spinach, and Salmon Salad. Recipe by Chef Catherine Fulvio of Ballyknocken House and Cookery School in Glenealy, Ashford, Co. Wicklow. From The New Irish Table: Recipes from Ireland's Top Chefs

FOR THE DRESSING
6 tbsp Irish rapeseed oil (or extra-virgin olive oil)
1 tbsp white-wine vinegar
1 tsp whole-grain mustard
1 orange, juice and zest
Salt and freshly ground pepper

FOR THE SALAD
4 oz/100 g each spinach and watercress
1 cucumber, sliced into ribbons
3 oranges, peeled and sliced
10 small potatoes, skin on, cooked and sliced in quarters
3 tbsp chopped olives
2 salmon fillets, poached and flaked
2 tsp finely chopped chives
A few dill sprigs to garnish

To make the dressing, place all the ingredients in a jar with a lid. Secure the lid tightly and shake well. Check the seasoning, and add a little more sugar, sugar, or freshly ground pepper if needed. Set aside.

Toss the spinach, watercress, and orange segments together, place on a large platter and drizzle with a little dressing. Arrange the potatoes on the salad leaves. Place the flaked poached salmon on top. Arrange the cucumber ribbons in between.

When ready to serve, pour some dressing over the salad. Sprinkle with chopped chives and a few fresh dill sprigs. Serve immediately. 

Serves 4

 

Learn more:
https://www.charlesbridge.com/products/the-new-irish-table

 

 

All photos courtesy and copyright Charlesbridge 

 

 

 

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