Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Salad Days

...My salad days
When I was green in judgment, cold in blood...
-from Antony & Cleopatra
Every thing in my body is yearning for sun and warmth.


It's not happening this week. It's like living inside of a jellyfish swimming in a bowl of pho.

I'm doubling up on vitamin D, I'm listening to peppy music (I'm too ashamed to link my Spotify to my Facebook) and holding a one-woman dance party, and I'm buying lots of flowers.



Tiny astronaut, or giant plants?

We bought these flowers at the market for $5 while this guy sang my favorite Townes song.
Even my stomach is ready to move on from cream-braised root vegetables and thick stews to giant bowls of fresh, crunchy vegetables. Now, it's hard for me to pick favorites. Most of you know that I'm hard-pressed to pick a favorite of anything--I have top fives or tens. Favorite movie? Oh, shoot, that's hard. Usual Suspects, Best in Show, Princess Bride, Dirty Dancing, and Tommy Boy? Favorite color? Oh, that's hard too. I like to wear black, but I like purple accessories. Blue's nice too though. 

So it is with my salad tastes. We're just coming out of MONTHS of eating the same salad night after night--mixed baby greens, slivered d'anjou pears, crumbled goat cheese, homemade balsamic dressing, and chopped pecans. Or walnuts if I'm feeling cheeky. We've been eating this salad since at least October, and I just ate one this week, from a six-quart bowl. But we're moving onto warmer tastes.


Talk about simple. I'm home sick today, and other than this salad, the most I accomplished was watching five episodes of Smash. (What? It feeds the dance party.) Sick-day easy.



I know that calling this a salad is probably generous, but I'm sticking to my guns and citing the caprese salad as a reminder that you don't need lettuce to qualify a melange of vegetables as a salad. I've been making this with tomatoes, but today, I couldn't be bothered. I didn't miss them, and you won't either. We'll save them for real tomato weather and two of my other favorite five salads.



Some notes about this salad: I use the sweet baby peppers that come in a nifty cellophane bag. I don't bother seeding them or removing the membranes. They're tiny. They make for fast and easy chopping--I just take off the nubbins from the pointy ends and chop till I get the to top.


Pepper and Cucumber Salad 
4 mini sweet peppers, cut into rings (or 1 regular pepper seeded and cut into strips)
1/2 hot house (or English) cucumber, halved and sliced into half moons
6 tbsp canola oil
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sugar
pinch of dried dill
pinch of pepper


Throw the veggies in a bowl. Throw the other stuff in a baby Mason jar, slap the lid on it, and shake it like you're a one-person dance party. (You can whisk it in a bowl, but where's the fun in that? Also, with a jar, you can easily pop leftover dressing into the fridge.) Dress the veggies to your liking, and eat straight out of the bowl.