Frenchie and Los Angeles

4 Feb

Los Angeles as it has been described to me so many times before is a love-it-or-hate-it city.

Most comments and descriptive remarks I hear about L.A. tend to be negative overall – at least in my experience.

I happen to fall in the other category of people – I love it!

This time I got to stay in and experience the Los Feliz, Silver Lake, Little Armenia areas.

A radical shift from the most popular and touristy neighborhoods.

There is something about the city that makes me happy and smile.

It’s not the sun nor the weather.

It’s not the eclectic mood that resonates through the city either.

Its diversity.

Its liveliness.

The picturesque aspect of its undeniable allure.

Scenic it is!

And this is what makes me want to come back every single time.

The artsy and bohemian-like Los Feliz was a perfect new stop for me to discover.

A walkable area – I know, hard to believe in L.A.! – with hints of a moody Brooklyn, NY meets Italian tile roofs and Art Deco meets Adobe style homes.

Alluring yet still a bit scrappy.

Wonderfully luxurious yet very much bobo.

A sense of community in a city that sprawls across 469 square miles (1,215 km2).

And to fight the Boston winter blues, a fresh salad to remember coastal L.A.

Bursts of flavors with Balti seasoning, currants and a drizzled citrusy vinaigrette.

A salad to keep sunny memories alive until the next visit.

Zucchini Ribbon Salad with Toasted Pumpkin Seeds and Currants

serves 4

for the vinaigrette

1 Tbsp of olive oil

2 Tbsp of grapeseed oil

1 teaspoon of Champagne vinegar

zest and juice of half an organic lime

1 teaspoon of honey

half to 1 teaspoon of mustard

sea salt / pepper

a sprinkle of ground coriander

for the salad

4 Tbsp of pumpkin seeds

1 Tbsp of olive oil

1 Tbsp of Balti spice or seasoning

2 green zucchini – thinly sliced like ribbons

2 yellow zucchini – thinly sliced like ribbons

4.5 oz (127 g) of Gruyère – thinly sliced

2-3 Tbsp of Zante currants

2 Tbsp of flat-leaf parsley – chopped

In a medium bowl, mix all the ingredients for the vinaigrette. Whisk until the emulsion thickens.

In a small bowl, mix the pumpkin seeds with the olive oil and the Balti spice until well coated.

In a small hot pan over medium heat, toast the pumpkin seeds until “noisy” – 2-3 minutes. When you hear them pop, put them back in the bowl and let cool.

Arrange the zucchini slices on a plate with the Gruyère slices.

Sprinkle the currants, parsley and the cold toasted pumpkin seeds.

Drizzle the vinaigrette on top and serve.

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