Organic Baby Kale, Persimmon Jelly, Persimmon Vinaigrette, Stilton Blue Cheese, Mandarin Orange, Nasturtium Petals, Morel/Black Rice/Toasted Bread Crumb "Dirt"
The "dirt" was made by puffing some wild black rice in hot oil and draining it well on paper towels. I also slowly toasted bread crumbs to a deep rich brown being very careful not to burn them. And I pan-fried some bacon. I ground the puffed rice and the bacon with dried morel mushrooms and mixed the toasted bread crumbs in resulting in a flavor and texture that evoked freshly tilled earth.
I plated the dirt with a rectangular mold and built the salad on top of it. I crumbled the Stilton and scattered it. I cut some mandarin oranges into supremes and placed them onto the plate as well along with some nasturtium flower petals. I dipped the kale in a persimmon vinaigrette before plating it.
I had some persimmons frozen from one of the last winter markets which I decided to thaw in the microwave instead of waiting a few hours to make the vinaigrette. As the fruit began to thaw a clear liquid was released which I thankfully saved and put to the side. I blended the thawed persimmon with grape seed oil, rice wine vinegar, sugar, salt and mirin to make the vinaigrette. After I did this I noticed that the clear persimmon liquid had cooled and formed into a jelly with a very slight persimmon flavor and loose gelled texture.