Okay, so I wanted to just quickly post the salad we had tonight for dinner before I forget. I had a version of this at my friend Erin’s house this weekend. This is the same friend who used my facebook account this week to announce to everyone she is my favorite person in the whole world, and that I am in a relationship. It reminds me of this girl I met at a party once who kept receiving phone calls throughout the evening because her friend had pranked her by posting her number on Craigslist saying she was giving away free goats.
Anyway, Erin made a killer salad, which I decided I needed to repeat and show you here.
Alright, my friends.* Even though it’s still freezing here in Utah, the summer is coming, and I’d like to look amazing. Remember I made that video a few weeks ago and told you how I was planning to lose a couple pounds?
Yeah, um . . . it’s not going so well. I think it’s the stress. I know that the best to way to achieve my goal is by eating lots of fresh, living foods—like greens, brightly colored fruits and vegetables, and by getting plenty of protein. But a lot of the time, I’m too tired to cook that way, and after I’ve baked a dozen French macarons for the blog, I’d rather just eat the macarons.
Yeah, I’m a little excited.
This is my first one, and I’ve been planning and dreaming about this day for over a decade. I couldn’t have gotten it published without all of you, my readers, so thank you, thank you, thank you! for being there for me, post after post!! I love you!!!
I thought I’d post this salad today, as a sort of retraction for a part of my book. (That was quick!!) Let me explain. In my book, in the chapter called “Concert on the Green,” in a lead-in for Mukimame Succotash, I wrote that I don’t like lima beans—fair enough. They’re kind of starchy and flavorless. In fact, I think a lot of you may have my back on this.
Have you seen the latest November issue of Martha Stewart Living yet? I’m quoted in the Kashi ad for their Original 7 Grain Sea Salt Pita Crisps. Here is what I said about them, along with a little recipe for that mediterranean salsa:
Eating healthy always tends to present a challenge for me, especially as a food blogger. When I write a post on something naughty . . . let’s say, for example, those maple bacon pecan bars, I have a tendency to opt for the naughty food over regular meals. There’s a crazy part of my brain that thinks that since I made the maple bacon pecan bars, then I am somehow entitled to every . . . last . . . one. And furthermore, why would I make a salad or throw together a quinoa dish when something is already in the fridge—right there, ready to be eaten? It’s all very dangerous.
There is a grocery store here in Utah called Harmons that I will drive twenty minutes out of my way to visit. That may not sound like that far of a drive, but when you consider I pass at least eight other grocery stores, a Costco, and a Super Target on the way, those twenty minutes prove just how much I love it. I don’t make enough money to buy all my groceries there, and they don’t even have everything I could find at a Whole Foods, but their service is exceptional. It seems like everyone in there knows all there is to know about the food in their section. And there is always someone standing within five yards who can answer any of my questions.
Oh, and don’t get me started on their Cheese Man. I don’t know that he knows that I call him that—apparently, his real name is Andrew—but he knows everything there is to know about cheese, and he deserves the distinction.
Last week, I was there browsing (I like to browse at grocery stores. I once had a
roommate flatmate from Australia who said this drove her CRAZY when we would shop together), and I was looking for something interesting. The kid in the produce section asked if he could help me, and I told him I was looking for fruit. He immediately suggested these honey tangerines (or Murcott tangerines), which are sweeter than other varieties, and suggested I put them in a salad. After some research on the internet, I found out that these tangerines only grow in Florida, and are available in the Spring.
Here is the salad I made.
My brother was just on the phone telling me I had hardly any savory recipes. This is for you, Joe.
It rained almost everyday last week. We even got snow on the mountains.
Those are the kinds of days I want to eat a skillet cookie for dinner. Or a big bowl of chili covered in melted cheddar, like this one my friend Shaina made. Those are the kinds of days I want something to warm me to the bone.
I think this salad accomplished just that.
Hello, my friends, I’d like you to meet my new friend, burrata. This little lump of cheese has made me one of the happiest people in the world. And I think it will do the same for you.
I was first introduced to this little orb of the creamier, dreamier relative of fresh mozzarella, when my peeps at babble took us out to dinner in New York last year. Since then, I have been searching high and low for it in Utah. I am happy to announce, that last week, I found it at Whole Foods, one of my favorite places in the world.
Every cookbook library should have a nice, sharp pencil handy. So often, the best recipes are the direct result of improvising on another recipe.
The seasoning I used for this blackened chicken is made up of the ingredients I had in my cupboard: paprika from my local Indian store, ground dill and thyme.
You could, by all means, make a rub with a more cajun flavor, using white pepper and onion powder. It’s up to you. But I didn’t have those things, so I made it my own way.
I have seen dozens of recipes for niçoise salad over the years. But to tell you the truth, they’ve never looked that appetizing to me. Maybe it’s my childhood aversion to green beans coming out, or maybe it’s that I expect the potatoes to be too bland and starchy. Even the niçoise salads with fresh ahi tuna never sparked much of my interest.
But I recently bought a copy of Gwyneth Paltrow’s cookbook, and she features two niçoise salads: one cool, and one warm. The photographs of both make the salad look so rustic and inviting, that I began to reconsider my prejudice against the salad from Nice.
As for the potatoes, my mom and I have been replacing regular starchy potatoes with sweet potatoes lately—they’re higher in nutrients and flavor, so I thought I’d add those to the salad instead.
Not to mention, I have been getting these gorgeous eggs from my neighbor lately, so I knew the bright yolks would make the salad stunning to look at.
I figured it was time to finally try my own version.
This recipe isn’t my own . . . well, the recipe is my own, but the idea isn’t. I was addicted to a very similar salad they sell at Whole Foods. I googled the recipe and discovered as many variations on the recipe as there are food blogs.
This is my take—I tried to get as close to the Whole Foods version as possible. I first posted a similar recipe on babble.com, but this time I made sure to include candied cashews.
It’s a balance between sweet, tangy, crunchy, and nutty. I love it. I hope you do, too.