Foie Gras and Beans
This simple Italian salad is raised to the sublime by the use of foie gras, first pressing olive oil, and 23-year-old balsamic vinegar. The tiny white beans used by Chef Santin do not need to be soaked overnight, but if you are using dried pea beans or navy beans, soak the beans overnight in water to cover. Drain, discarding the water, and continue with the recipe.
- Fagioli risina beans - 2 cups (alt. pea beans or navy beans)
- Carrot - 1, diced small
- Celery Stalk - 2, diced small
- Onion - 1/2, diced small
- Chicken Stock - 1 cup
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- Foie gras - 1 piece, cleaned, veins removed
- Flour for dusting
- Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
- Arugula - 4 ounces
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil - First pressing extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
- Balsamic vinegar or other aged balsamic vinegar - 23-year-old, for drizzling
- Fleur de Sel
- Sweet Jamaican peppercorns
To prepare the beans: Place the beans, carrot, celery, and onion in a large saucepan and add the chicken stock. If necessary, add water to cover the beans. Season with a few grindings of pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until the beans are tender and the skins split when blown on. Drain, reserving both the beans and the broth, and set aside.
To prepare the foie gras: Cut the foie gras into eight crosswise slices. Dust lightly with flour, spanking off the excess. Heat a non-stick skillet over high heat; when hot, add the slices of foie gras and a very small drizzle of olive oil. Sear 10 to 15 seconds per side, just until browned. Remove and drain on towels. Do not let the foie gras slices touch in the pan; if necessary, sear in batches. When the foie gras slices have drained, put on a dish and drizzle just a little olive oil over the slices.
To serve: Put the arugula in a bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper. Drizzle with a little extra-virgin olive oil and a few drops of aged balsamic vinegar; toss to coat. Place a small mound of beans in the center of each salad plate. Top with arugula, then with a few more beans and a little of the cooking broth. Sprinkle a few drops of aged balsamic vinegar on top. Arrange two foie gras slices on each. Drizzle with a small amount of olive oil. Grind a little Fleur de Sel and Jamaican peppercorns over the tops.