Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Villa! Villa!

No More Pencils, No More Books, No More Teacher's Dirty Looks! As students from various schools jump with joy to celebrate the end of another gruelling schoolyear, Jesuits in the Philippines also have every reason to drop their books and pencils. Summer is indeed much awaited by Jesuits who are simply in need of a break from their various apostolic ministries. Last March 27 to April 2, Jesuits from all over the Philippines went up the country's summer capital and spent a week of rest and recreation there. It's Villa Time!

As always, the food was great. Each supper offered particular cuisine namely Filipino Barrio Fiesta, Italian, Chinese, American and Japanese. To top it all, cocktails and drinks were served after every dinner specially prepared by our resident Jesuit Philosopher/Theologian/Medical Doctor and Bartender!!!

The festive mood of the house lured the Jesuit Gourmet in me to whip up some salad dressings for the community. Here are three of the easy-to-prepare fruit based salad dressing concoctions that I served during our villa. Try the taste of these three refreshing summer coolers in your salad.

Strawberry Vinaigrette

1/2 cup fresh strawberries; sliced
1/2 cup cane vinegar (or apple cider)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic
1 stalk celery (medium size)
4 - 5 tbsps honey (or brown sugar)
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a food processor/blender. Blend ingredients until pureed. Pour dressing over your favorite greens and enjoy. (picture taken from http://www.christinespies.com)

Mulberry- Balsamic Dressing

1/2 cup mulberries
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup dry red wine
4 - 5 tbsps honey
3 clove garlic
1 tsp rosemary leaves
salt and pepper to taste

Combine wine, balsamic vinegar, honey and mulberries on a food processor. Blend well until the mulberry and garlic is pureed. In a sauce pan over medium heat, boil the mulberry -balsamic mixture. Add in rosemary leaves. Season witha dash of salt and pepper. Reduce the mixture to half its volume or until a syrupy consistency is attained. Set aside and let it cool down. Add in the olive oil and mix well (or put in a container and shake well). This will be a refreshing dressing for your green salad. This also goes well with focaccia bread as dipping sauce. (picture taken from http://www.ornamentaltree.co.uk)

Mango Pesto

2 pcs ripe mangoes (Philippine variety)
3 - 4 tbsps chopped sweet basil
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 - 4 cloves garlic
salt and pepper to taste

Slice mangoes into half and discard the seed. Scrape off the mango flesh from the peel.

In a food processor, combine all ingredients and puree. season with salt and pepper. You may add more olive oil depending on your own preference. Serve as usual. I have not tried this yet, but it seems this salad dressing can also be used as pasta sauce. Combine this with heavy cream and bring to a boil over medium heat. Looks like this will go well your fettuccini served with pork or lamb medallion. (Picture taken from http://jadedafrica.dekarabaw.com)


Kai said...

Hello there, these dressings are really inspired. Are mulberries actually available in Baguio?

Passionate Eater said...

Yea! It is like the heavy metal / hard rock song: "School's, out, for-ever!"

I agree with your categorization of the salads as "refreshing," I can definitely see how you incorporated sweet + acid tang elements in each of your salad dressings.

The addition of "celery" to your Strawberry Vinaigrette is particularly interesting to me. How does celery add to the flavor and texture of the dressing?

Jhaw said...

Hi kai! Thanks for visiting us. I haven't seen any mulberries in Baguio market. I'm not sure why they don't sell mulberries in the market while they're so common in Baguio. (Baka kasi madaling mabulok?) We have mulberry trees in our Jesuit Villa (Mirador Hills), that's where I get my supply.

Hello PE, I enjoyed your last post! I haven't thought much about the celery's contribution to the taste of the strawberry vinaigrette. (Perhaps, because i liked the taste of celery dipped in any kind of dressing or vinaigrette)

But now that you've asked, I might go back to it and "test" it once again if it does make any difference. Thanks for your inquiry.

Theoretical Cook said...

I didnt realize mulberries grow in the Philippines....Wish I could see these trees

Anonymous said...

wow, mirador looks so much nicer now! i miss everything about baguio, i miss hanging out with the jesuits during their yearly villa. life goes on...