East Coast natives Jon Nassif, 40, and his wife, Laurie, 45, moved from New York City to Denver in 2002 looking for a better quality of life. Jon pursued his dream of owning a restaurant, teaming up with executive chef James Mazzio to open Green Fine Salad Co. downtown in June 2004. The couple—Laurie runs the business and marketing end—opened Green’s second downtown location in April 2007.
On the Board
Jon buys different cheeses from Cheese Importers in Longmont, and serves them on this slate board. “We got this from the VivaTerra catalog, and it’s great because you can jot down the names of each cheese.”
“I love different salts,” Laurie says. “Sometimes I pick up stuff just because of the great packaging, like this one.” Bella Cucina aromatic savory salts with Tuscan rose and pink peppercorns, $11, www.bellacucina.com
Jon and Laurie sip on Southside cocktails: “fresh lemon, muddled mint, simple syrup, soda, and gin,” Laurie says. Serve them up in your favorite tumbler; here, polka-dot from the gift shop at the Rhode Island School of Design.
Can’t Beet It
For a healthy appetizer, Laurie opts for veggies. “I’ll do roasted golden beets with olive oil and salt and pepper. The trick is that you don’t peel them before you put them in the oven.”
RECIPE: Laurie’s Limoncello (Makes approximately 3 quarts)
- 15 thick-skinned lemons (such as Eureka, Lisbon, or Citron)
- 2 bottles (750 ml each) of the best 100 proof vodka or a single 750 ml bottle of 190 proof alcohol
- 4 ½ cups sugar
- 5 cups water if you use vodka, or 8 cups if you use grain alcohol
Wash the lemons in hot water before you start. Remove the peel with a vegetable peeler, removing all white pith on the back of the peel by scraping with a knife, and put the peels in a 4-quart mason jar.
Add 1 bottle of vodka, or half the alcohol, and stir. Cover the jar, date it, and put it to rest in a dark cabinet at room temperature.
After 40 days, take out the lemon-vodka mixture. In a saucepan over high heat, stir the sugar and water together and boil for 5 minutes. Let the sugar syrup cool completely in the pan, about 10 minutes. Add the sugar syrup to the lemon-vodka mixture along with the second bottle of vodka or the remaining alcohol.
Stir well to combine. Replace the cover on the jar and note the finish date. Return it to the dark cabinet and store for 40 more days.
On day 80, remove the limoncello from the cabinet. Strain the mixture and discard the lemon peel. Pour into clean, unused bottles with caps or decorative corked bottles. Store the bottles in the pantry, but put one bottle at a time in the freezer until ready to use.