An Impromptu Autumn Salad

I admire people who can “do” impromptu, whether acting, singing, joke telling, or speeching. For me to agree to do any of those things I would require ample amount of time to prepare. (And even then, you probably only have a hope of convincing me to speak publicly.) Thinking on my feet is not one of my stronger qualities.

In the kitchen, however, I am much more adept at improvising. I love the magic of off-the-cuff meals– when disparate ingredients come together into a delicious punchline of a dinner.

That’s what happened this past lunchtime. I gathered together what sounded good: lettuce with the crispness of fall morning air, golden raisins the color of its afternoon light, and toasted almonds smelling of its evening fire. Toothsome pears and leftover pear brandy cream sauce completed the cast.

Posted 10 years, 8 months ago at 7:35 pm. Add a comment

Arugula and Red Onion Soup

IMG_2095One of the snags people often get caught in when eating a local diet is the ebb and flow of specific foods. First, most foods are not in season year round. They come and go like the tide. They might be obtainable, but you have to travel far to get them. Second, when they are available, they are available in the same way that a tidal wave is available.

Lettuce is one of those foods.  Somewhere along the line, it acquired the status of poster child for healthy eating. People on diets opt for the salad bar instead of fried chicken. Health nuts get bragging rights based on how many salads they eat. Prewashed, mixed, and bagged lettuce is a staple of busy moms trying to feed their family more vegetables. And then there’s me. I think I eat fairly healthfully. And yet, for most of the year, salads (at least those made from lettuce) are conspicuously absent from my table. In the south, where I live, the lettuce season is very short- from about March to mid April, and then again in September. Lettuces thrive in cooler spring and fall temperatures. The intense heat that other sun bathing vegetables like tomatoes adore, exhausts lettuces. But in the spring, before the days get too hot, lettuce comes rolling in from the garden and crashes in waves over farmer’s market stands. It is vibrant green (or red, or purple), succulent, tender, and without a trace of bitterness.

Continue Reading…

Posted 12 years, 2 months ago at 12:05 pm. 5 comments