My favorite salad in Charlotte might come as a surprise. It’s the Great Grandma’s Salad at 10 Pin Brew & BBQ, neatly tucked into the 10 Park Lanes bowling alley on Montford Drive. I know it sounds crazy that my favorite salad comes from a bowling alley. But I’m not the only one. I eat at the Charlotte landmark regularly, and my dining companions wholeheartedly agree.
It’s all about the addictive sweet basil jam dressing that tops the artisan lettuce, smoked turkey, apples, cranberries, Gouda and roasted almonds. As the weather warms and basil starts to flourish, I can’t think of a better time to try it.
On my last visit, I pleaded with Joe Brewster, 10 Pin’s executive chef, to share his recipe. He hesitated, revealing that he plans to start selling the delicious jam by the jar soon. Fortunately, I was able to get him to succumb, and he graciously shared his secrets.
The most important tip is to very slowly pour the olive oil into a running food processor to fully emulsify the jam. Brewster suggests using a paper cup to aid the process. Just puncture one small hole into the bottom with a toothpick or wooden skewer. When you pour the oil into the cup and hold it over the feed tube, it creates the perfect thin, steady stream. I wish I knew this bit of advice years ago, because it works like a charm.
After the dressing is complete, refrigerate it overnight to thicken it to a more jam-like consistency.
My advice is to spread the jam on everything. At 10 Pin, it’s excellent on the Great Grandma’s Salad, but they also slather it on their Turkey Melts and Pulled Chicken Sliders. I think it would be terrific on roast meats. Come up with your own favorite base and let me know how it comes out.
Are you looking for a recipe from a Charlotte-area restaurant? Send your request to Jennifer Lover, firstname.lastname@example.org, on Instagram (@jenniferlover) or mail it to Kathleen Purvis, P.O. Box 30308, Charlotte, NC 28230-0308. Include your name, why you like the recipe and the restaurant’s location. Lover is a creative director, stylist and cook who lives in Charlotte.
10 Pin Brew & BBQ
10 Park Lanes, 1700 Montford Drive, 704-523-7633.
10 Pin Sweet Basil Jam
From chef Joe Brewster, 10 Pin Brew & BBQ.
2 cups packed basil leaves (6-8 ounces), stems removed
1/2 cup sweet onion, roughly chopped
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
Remove stems from enough basil leaves to measure 2 firmly packed cups and place into the work bowl of a food processor. Add the onions, honey, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Pulse a few times to coarsely chop.
In a very slow and steady stream (see story for an important chef’s tip), drizzle olive oil through the feed tube into the running food processor until fully emulsified and thickened.
Use immediately, or refrigerate overnight to thicken more. May be kept refrigerated in a covered container for up to one week.
Yield: About 3 cups.