Alice Water’s Taco Salad Recipe

By Emmy Lee | Posted on September 26th, 2012

If I had to eat at one restaurant only for the rest of my life, I would, without a doubt, pick Chez Panisse. There’s something magical about the place – incredible thought and care has been put in every aspect of the dining experience from the room, to the service, to the unbelievably delicious and unpretentious food. The best part is although Queen Alice, as she is affectionately known, regularly tops Best lists, dining at Chez Panisse is like eating in someone’s home – it’s a warm and entirely unaffected experience. Here’s an excerpt from her recent interview with The Daily Californian and her simple recipe for Taco Salad:

The Daily Californian: You are known as one of the most influential chefs in America, but which chefs have most influenced your own style?

Alice Waters: I was very lucky — I read Elizabeth David and Richard Olney. They talked about ingredients; they were uncompromising.

DC: What one ingredient could you not live without?

AW: Garlic. Maybe olive oil.

DC: Can you, in a single word, describe your personal cooking philosophy?

AW: Provenance. It’s all about provenance; I want to know where everything comes from.

DC: What’s your favorite place to grab a quick bite in Berkeley?

AW: I’ll get a bowl of soba noodles at Ippuku, up by the university. They care a whole lot about sourcing. Most of the time, though, I’ll think about (eating out) and then end up going home and making a salad taco.

Alice Waters’ Salad Taco Recipe:
This salad taco is a favorite lunchtime fix for Waters and is easy enough for anyone to make:
1. Start by making a chop salad with whatever you have (lettuce, tomatoes, sometimes chopped radishes or fennel).
2. Mix with some vinegar, oil, and a bit of salt. Maybe some coriander.
3. Take an organic tortilla and put it on the fire of the stove for a few seconds until the edges begin to brown
4. Shred some organic soft cheese (like a Monterey Jack, or fresh Mexican cheese) and sprinkle it on the tortilla.
5. Put the tortilla in the broiler until the cheese just melts, then take it out, throw the salad on top and eat it right away.


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