Friday, March 07, 2008

What's for Lunch?

Most days it would be a salad. Boring you say? Oh no, making a salad can be as therapeutic as making Japanese green tea. And every day it is slightly different.

I grew up with salads that consisted of a chunk of iceberg lettuce, a few slices of tomato, and maybe a cucumber. The dressing would have been Wishbone French (that very orange one) or if we were lucky Good Seasons Italian in a bottle that always needed to be shaken before pouring. Needless to say, I preferred most other vegetables.

My mother’s salad forte was more into the Jello family: seafoam green and cranberry. Those molds just never failed to please in their sugary goodness.

My lunchtime salads bear little resemblance to the salads of my youth. They start with a vinaigrette in the bottom of the bowl:

– Snipped fresh dill (or dried if I don’t have any)
– Some dried thyme
– A small dollop of Dijon mustard
– A little white wine vinegar
– A little Balsamic vinegar
– Borsari seasoned salt
– Freshly ground Szechuan pepper
– Lemon flavored olive oil

Blend the above ingredients with a fork and start adding whatever you have on hand and whatever appeals to you. Today my salad contained:

– Chopped red sweet pepper
– Chopped carrots
– Chopped cucumber
– A sliced baby tomato
– Half an avocado
– Capers
– 4 olives
– Raw sunflower seeds
– Shaved Pecorino cheese (shaved with a vegetable peeler)
– Mache blend of greens

Only after the last ingredients have been added is it tossed to distribute the dressing which has been waiting patiently on the bottom of the bowl.

Some days I might add one of the following:

– Chopped hard-boiled egg
– Pieces of chicken
– Leftover salmon or tuna

After savoring every mouthful of this somewhat tart mixture, I feel like a piece of sweet fruit: an orange or a mango.

The perfect end to this meal is a bite of dark chocolate. Just a bite is sufficient.

When my husband asks if I’m sick of eating salad for lunch, I can say with certainty NEVER!


Blogger Kristin said...

Your salads sound wonderful. As does the chocolate. :)

2:31 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

You are welcome to come to lunch any day! (seriously) I'll just use a bigger bowl...

9:42 PM  
Blogger Pauline said...

Yum! How about I bring one made of black beans and corn, some onion and a little salsa for bite and a loaf of warm ciabatta bread - and chocolate, of course. A meal is not a meal without chocolate!

3:05 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Pauline -- Yes, yes, yes! You and your black bean-corn salad are most welcome to join me any time. There will always be a piece of chocolate for you!

6:23 PM  

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