Someone Else's Farm

July 15, 2010

Hot. Again. Salad. Again.

Filed under: what we did — Tags: , , , , , — M @ 11:08 AM

Another hot and sticky day. We first thought about using some of the leftover calabacitas taco filling in a frittata, but that would have involved turning on the oven since neither of us is very good at flipping a frittata to cook the second side on the stove. Anything quiche-like would have the same issue. We thought about an outdoor fried rice, but that would have felt like too much work on a day when neither of us was inspired to do much. So instead we had another salad topped with some of the leftover cooked chicken. I added the feta crumbles that didn’t get eaten yesterday to the top of mine, and dressed it with some balsamic syrup. Casey remembered that the blue cheese dressing bottle doesn’t have a squeezy top, so he didn’t have to rescue his salad after the fact.

The salad used up all the rest of our CSA lettuce, as well as one of the two cucumbers. Because this wasn’t a store-bought waxed cucumber, I didn’t feel compelled to remove every last shred of peel. Instead, I just peeled stripes, and then sliced it into wheels, so that each round had a pretty pattern of green and white around the outside, and so that the rounds were easy to eat. I also used up the rest of the red pepper I’d started for Monday’s salad, some of the carrot sticks from Monday cut smaller, and our CSA tomato. (Note to self: while carrot sticks are very convenient to eat with one’s hands, they don’t work well with a fork. Next time you make a salad, start with a brand-new carrot and slice it thinly, either on the mandoline or with the carrot peeler.) We didn’t have an open onion, so I didn’t include any this time.

It didn’t look like much, especially compared to Monday’s salad, so I decided to add some asparagus. (My original thought for the asparagus was quiche, or something along those lines. Er, no. Not this week: see above.) I took about half of this week’s bunch, and steamed it. But I didn’t remember to do this soon enough for the asparagus to cool before we were ready to eat salad. So instead of putting it on our salads, we stood in the kitchen and ate it au naturel, stalk by stalk, as a first course.

We accompanied the salad with some of a loaf of Wegmans Tuscan garlic bread. It wasn’t anything special.

I’ve come to the conclusion that while I like salad, especially on hot days, the lettuce is my least favorite part of a traditional mixed salad. Even when it’s really good lettuce, it just doesn’t float my boat, especially when there are other yummy things in the salad bowl. The lettuce just sits there, not doing much, wilting under the dressing. Thus, last night I ate a little of the lettuce in my salad, but gave most of it to Casey, who appreciates it more than I do. Yet, there are other days when nothing sounds better but a pale, crunchy, cold, moist wedge of iceberg lettuce, to be held in my hands and eaten by plucking one leaf at a time from the outside of the wedge. Today is shaping up to be an iceberg-wedge day, but we have no iceberg. Alas.

One more quick note on asparagus. Last month, I thought I was being creative when I made the asparagus sort-of-carbonara with shells. Not long ago, I was looking through Faith Willinger’s Red, White, and Greens, an Italian vegetable cookbook, and what do I find? A recipe for asparagus carbonara! It was very close to what I did, with the major difference being that I used shells and the recipe calls for fettuccine. It goes to show that (a) there’s nothing new under the sun; (b) I think along the lines of at least one cookbook author; and (c) my choice of pasta shape is apparently not in line with Italian tradition.

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