Today’s Salad: Summer Crunch


Today’s salad is a precocious little combination of thinly sliced romaine, endive, radicchio, celery, baby tomatoes, radishes, arugula, blanched spinach, black olives, torn basil leaves, crumbled blue cheese, and Fritos. Yes, Fritos subbing in for croutons. I tossed it with a simple cider vinaigrette. It was perfect for a hot day — refreshing, cooling, and crunchy.

Today’s Salad: File Under Healthy

Damn, that’s a fine-lookin’ salad!

Today’s salad is healthy combination of organic local spinach, arugula, micro-basil, micro aramanth, radicchio, endive, shaved asparagus, chopped tomato, and torn basil leaves. The dressing is extra virgin olive oil, a little orange juice, a little lime juice, a bit of apple cider vinegar, a wee bit of honey, one clove or garlic grated, one small shallot grated, and some salt and pepper to taste. Very tasty lunch!

I just had to show you again…

…and again.

Today’s Salad – Burrata Caprese

So fresh, so lovely!


I made this lovely salad the other day with some slices of pretty decent tomato (considering it’s winter) topped with a heap of burrata cheese. Burrata is a pillow of stretched fresh mozzarella with a soft center of cheese curds and cream. It’s phenomenal stuff, if perhaps a little hard to source. Use the best fresh mozzarella as a substitute.

I topped off the tomato and cheese with a little salad of wild arugula, a few torn basil leaves, and finely shaved fennel tossed with lemon juice and very good extra virgin olive oil. I added a little cracked pepper and some fleur de sel, naturally. I prettied up the plate with a little basil oil and balsamic sryup.

You can make pretty much any kind of herb oil by blanching a fistful of coarsely chopped fresh herbs in salted water for about ten seconds and then transferring them to an ice bath. Dry the blanched herbs very, very well and then whir in a blender on high with about a half-cup of vegetable oil until you have a gorgeous green puree. Allow the oil to sit for an hour and then strain slowly through cheesecloth or a very fine mesh strainer.

Make balsamic syrup by putting a half cup of decent balsamic vinegar with a tablespoon or two of sugar into a small pot. Stir and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer until the balsamic vinegar reduces to a nice, syrupy consistency. It’ll take maybe twenty minutes. Let it cool and dress salads or cooked veggies or grilled meats or what have you!



Today’s Salad: Old-School Crisp

Eat your veggies!

I knocked out this basic salad with crunchy iceberg lettuce, wild young arugula (the only concession to modernity), good vine-ripe tomatoes, shaved red cabbage, some English cucumber, boiled egg, crispy maple bacon, and pre-sliced canned black olives (I make no apologies, I luv ’em!).

I made a pretty simple creamy (but slightly lightened) blue cheese dressing to top it off (I had a huge chunk of leftover stilton to use up.). In the dressing is (measurements approximated) a 1/2 cup crumbled stilton, a 1/4 cup of sour cream, a 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt, a 1/4 cup of homemade mayo, 1 tablespoon cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard, 1 garlic clove, 1 small sprig of dill, a pinch of paprika, and plenty of cracked pepper. I put all this in a blender and let ‘er rip. I added a bit of water to thin it out to get the blender going. When I got the consistency I wanted I added salt to taste.

And then I drizzled it over my lovely salad.

Cinnamon Persimmon

My favorite persimmon.
I can’t say that I’m a huge fan of persimmons. If you’ve ever tried to eat an unripe “astringent” persimmon you’ll find that the tannins make it virtually impossible to choke one down. It tastes “furry” on the tongue and is truly horrible on the palate. Most or all of this astringency will dissipate as the fruit reaches full ripeness, but by that point most persimmon varieties turn translucent and gelatinous. I can’t say I’ve ever been a real fan of this jelly-like texture, and the flavor of persimmons can best be described as “acquired”.

Today’s Salad: A True ‘Kitchen Sink’ Salad

Have you noticed that I like to eat salads!

Lunch today was another crazy, mixed-up salad thrown together of every possible disparate thing in my fridge: iceberg lettuce, red cabbage, nappa cabbage, baby arugula, watercress, sliced grilled chicken breast, a little celery root, blanched kale, celery, fennel, red bell pepper, tomato, carrot, a few small chunks of mimolette cheese, cilantro, and a dressing made of cider vinegar, honey, dijon mustard, Vietnamese fish sauce, lime juice, garlic, salt, and pepper.

Very yummy!

Straccetti con la Rucola: Little Rags of Beef with Arugula

Tiny tasty tidbits of tenderloin.
This incredibly easy dish from Rome illustrates how wonderful food can come from just a couple of simple ingredients. It’s the essence of Italian cuisine — uncomplicated and primal, with a reliance on great produce and straightforward technique. Continue reading