By Jane Humphrey By Jane Humphrey | July 6, 2021 | Food & Drink New Restaurants Eat Food & Drink
Newly opened restaurant Le Jardinier dazzles with each decadent bite.
The burrata at Le Jardinier is truly a must-order. PHOTO BY EMILY CHAN
Tucked inside the Nancy and Rich Kinder Building at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston is the exquisite eatery Le Jardinier (lejardinierhouston.com). French fare comes to life on each mouthwatering plate thanks to chef de cuisine Andrew Ayala. The fine-dining restaurant will undoubtedly delight the palate with scrumptious dishes, including the burrata salad. “Burrata has been one of our signatures since we started,” he shares. “Whether it is stone fruit and tomatoes, melons and figs or even reb kabocha squash, pomegranates and persimmons— currently we are using local Texas peaches, red cherries and bee pollen.” Here, Ayala lets us in on some of his savory secrets to enjoy at home.
Burrata cheese (Murray’s is our favorite)
Peaches, plums or even nectarines
Cherry tomatoes (if possible with different colors)
Organic bee pollen (your local
Whole Foods or even Amazon has it)
1. Cut the burrata in half and season with some olive oil, black pepper, finely chopped chives or basil. Usually a good-quality burrata is salty enough.
2. Marinate the tomatoes with some olive oil, sherry vinegar, fresh black pepper and chives. We like to eat our tomatoes at room temperature, and they must be ripe. (Always keep your tomatoes at room temperature; their flavor will be more intense!)
3. A good peach doesn’t need much; it is great raw. The natural sweetness is delicious. Wash them and slice them thinly, keeping the skin on.
4. Cherries—remove the core with tweezers or a pair of scissors (it’s a chef thing), or the easier version is to cut the cherry flesh around the pit.
5. Basil oil—blanch a large handful of basil for 5 seconds and then shock in ice water. Squeeze out all the water and then place into a blender with about 1 cup of grapeseed oil. Blend until it begins to look like a pesto. Place into a pot and bring up to a boil. You’ll see the oil will begin to separate. Remove from the heat and pour over a coffee filter. You will get a dark and intense green basil oil.
6. Basil seeds—place the basil seeds in a small cup of water for few hours; the seeds will absorb the water and will become translucent. Before using them, remove the excess of water and add some basil oil to the seeds. (This method will keep your oil green for months if you keep it in a freezer in small batches and use it as you need throughout the year.)
1. Place the burrata on the plate, add the marinated tomatoes around, the sliced peaches, nectarines or plums and the cherries, creating a beautiful, balanced harmony of colors, textures and flavors.
2. Drizzle with the basil oil with the basil seeds, a few drops of reduced balsamic vinegar, and add some organic bee pollen.