IO Chats: Kim Yorio

Our latest episode of IO Chats features special guest Kim Yorio, founder and president of YC Media. Kim is an esteemed food publicist with 25 years of experience helping the biggest names in the culinary world tell their stories.

Through her work with Jamie Oliver, Ina Garten, Rachael Ray, and Emeril Lagasse, Kim witnessed the growth of modern food media as chefs stepped out of the kitchen and into the spotlight. Our CEO Jennifer Broutin Farah talked with Kim about the origins of YC media, the importance of growing your own veggies, and the future of food.

Kim is also something of a salad expert, generously sharing her approach to crafting the perfect salad in her conversation with Jennifer. Below is her recipe for “Preserved Lemon Goddess Salad”, inspired by Chef Suzanne Goin.

Kim Yorio's Preserved Lemon Goddess Salad

Suzanne Goin is one of my favorite chefs. Her restaurants and cookbooks are in my regular rotation, and her recipe for Green Goddess Dressing became the basis for one of the best things in my culinary repertoire. I fancy myself a decent cook, and after 25 years as a food publicist, I know more than my fair share, however—nothing I ever make is perfect. I am not a professional, and the cooking I do in my head is always better than what’s on the plate. Except for salads… I knock salads out of the park. Again, because I’ve had good teachers. In addition to Suzanne, Jamie Oliver, Jonathan Waxman, Jimmy Bradly, Joey Campanaro—they make some damn fine salads. I mean sweetgreen is great and all, but those are bowls chock full of things and meant as a main course. In my salads, I tend toward leaves and prefer them after the main course as the brilliant Barbara Kafka taught me.  

My salad recipes are more suggestion than stipulation. Go for contrasts, soft sweet leaves, crunchy bitter vegetables, creamy dressings—emulsions really cant be beat.  Make sure your leaves (and everything else in the bowl) are perfectly dry so the dressing sticks, and salt the salad BEFORE you toss with dressing.

Another winning method: salt your cucumbers in advance. Slice them very thinly on a Japanese benriner (skin on or off is up to you) and toss them with salt. Leave them for a few hours or over night. Drain and dry thoroughly. You’ve just made a quick pickle that will perk up any salad.

Ingredients: Dressing

  • ¼ Preserved Meyer lemon (if too salty or tart, rinse before use)
  • 2 tablespoons Meyer lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons whole Greek yogurt
  • 1 handful of soft leafy herbs (basil, chives, parsley and dill)
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled with any brown parts trimmed off
  • 2 anchovies (debone if you don’t have a powerful blender)
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar (organic and high quality, it should smell of grapes)
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil (organic high quality, it should smell fruity and like olives)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients: Salad

  • Leaves: butter, romaine (light green inner only), baby arugula, baby spinach
  • Crunchies: sliced radishes, curled carrots, quick-pickled cucumbers
  • Fruits: little tomatoes are always lovely when they are in season. Otherwise forget it.
  • Nuts & Seeds: your preference and allergenic needs (I love those sprouted seeds, great crunch and flavor)
  • Cheese: light goat cheese or feta (as a topping, not incorporated into dressing)

Directions

  • Slice cucumbers thin in advance, tossing them in salt and storing in the refrigerator for a few hours before serving for a quick pickle.
  • Combine the following dressing ingredients into blender and blend until a nice smooth paste: Meyer lemon, lemon juice, yogurt, herbs, garlic, anchovies, and red wine vinegar.
  • Add olive oil a little bit at a time while blending.
  • Once all olive oil is added, blend on “high” until “super duper smooth.”
  • Taste and season with salt and pepper.
  • If dressing needs more acid, add more red wine vinegar.
  • Keep dressing refrigerated until serving.
  • When ready to serve, remove and drain quick-pickled cucumbers.
  • Slice radishes on a mandolin and curl carrots.
  • Thoroughly dry all salad ingredients.
  • Combine leaves, radish slices, carrot curls, tomatoes, seeds, and cucumbers, tossing dry with salt and pepper.
  • Add dressing a little at a time so the leaves are coated lightly. Be careful here. I am always accused of overdressing.
  • Top with light goat cheese or feta.
  • Enjoy in good company!

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