How do you like YOUR salad?
By now, I’m resigned to the fact that I usually eat differently than other folks. You’ve seen plenty of examples in my BKFST posts. Now for salads.
I think my best salad experiences were in Jerusalem, where Israeli or Arab salads were the norm. As you can see, the wikipedia definition for each is pretty similar. Indeed, chopped tomato and cucumber is the base salad. In practice, many small plates of chopped vegetables often found our table, and one would take something from each. At breakfast in the hotels, the buffet followed the same principles.
I’m not a fan of lettuces or greens (derisively called leafs, by some non-foodies); although a good ceasar salad, properly made, is pretty hard to beat. At the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market in San Francisco — oh, how I miss that — hearts of romaine were available most of the year, and endive — crunchy and mildly bitter — for much of the year. Those kept well in the crisper drawer of our refrigerator and formed the basis for salads that I made. Arugula and frisee and radicchio — especially grilled — are okay, too.
Last night, Carol got a container of her Sugo out of the refrigerator and said, “We have two endive, why don’t you make a salad for dinner?” At about the time to put pasta in water, I chopped the endive, threw it in my favorite wooden two-person salad bowl and rummaged around to see what else to throw in. I sliced some red radishes and tiny baby carrots we get from a guy at the winter market — Sundays 10am to 2pm, indoors at the Garden Shop Nursery. Reno is cold just now, but there is plenty of sun and he grows his vegetables (including chard) in a heated cold frame.
Core, peel and cube a pear, that’s good for something sweet. If I didn’t have a pear, an apple would do. Slice in a couple of scallions and cube a fabulous pickled yellow beet.
I tossed all that together and put on a little more than a tablespoon of Marzetti Simply Dressed Ranch Dressing, just enough to coat and moisten everything, but not add a lot of taste. If I hadn’t had that, I would have used Newman’s Own salad dressing — or my own concoction of vinegar and oil and lemon juice. I seasoned with salt and pepper and just a pinch of sugar to make the beets and pear happy.
You’ve seen these beets on my breakfast plate. We get them at the Great Basin Coop, roast them for about 50 minutes at 400°F, cool, peel and put them in a jar. I mix 1/2 cup fresh orange juice, 1/4 cup red wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 ounce Pastis and a good pinch of salt and pepper mixture in a saucepan, heat to boiling and pour over the beets. Refrigerate for a day and they’re ready to eat. (That’s for the yellow beets, for red beets the vinegar of choice is balsamic.)