It’s time for episode 4 of TV Dinner and this one is dedicated to my fellow non-meat eaters who have gone to a restaurant, only to discover that there is but one viable dinner option on the menu.
A few weeks ago in Montauk my friend Rina was raving about the way she makes kale salad — “just massage avocados into it, and that’s your dressing!” — so I obviously had to try it for myself. She was right to rave; it was delicious. B loved it too. In fact I think he finished his plate before me, which is very unusual in our house.
I’m on a little bit of a simple summer salad kick right now. In this heat — nay, humidity — I just can’t stomach anything heavy. Plus what’s better than fresh veggies, herbs and citrus — all on one plate.
Peas really don’t get the love they deserve. I always see them in the market and think – huh, peas, I should eat you. But what can I put you with to make you a little more interesting? Enter the latest issue of Bon Appetit, which I read on the plane ride home from vacation, in which I found this recipe that looked as delicious as it did easy. The latter, easy, was the key this week, since getting back into the routine after two weeks off has been a bit harder than I anticipated.
I don’t know about you, but lunch is always the hardest meal for me to figure out each day. I know I’m on a slightly different schedule than most of you and am craving slightly different food, but I’ll venture a guess that we all want a few of the same things out of our high-noon (or 10 a.m., 2 p.m., whatever time) feeding.
For my dinner party last weekend I wanted a light salad course — something easy to assemble, but also healthy and refreshing — to come before the main course (cioppino, a fish stew), so I came up with this combination. Massaging the arugula in olive oil and lemon takes the bite out of it and also gives it a nice, smooth texture. Besides: what’s cooking without getting your hands a little dirty?
Since I was busy prepping the stew, I didn’t have time to toast the pine nuts, but I bet that would add a lot more flavor. I’d also shave the fennel next time, instead of chopping — so I’m moving that good ‘ol mandoline back to the top of my TV Dinner shopping list.
As soon as the snow started falling last Friday night I was dreaming about the beach. Fine, the food at the beach – Rockaway Taco to be exact — and their famous salad served in a ziploc bag. It is so simple and divine — long spears of cucumber, mango and jicama swimming in a citrus chile dressing. I thought I could recreate it in the same vein and serve it in individual mason jars — I’m working on my dinner party presentation here — but what seemed cute and creative just didn’t seem practical. So I chopped the veggies smaller, added pomegranate seeds, and plated it with the main course.
It is so easy to make and looks so festive next to the arroz verde (green rice) and fish tacos — don’tcha think?!
This is the most delicious, most simple, most I-look-fancy-but-I’m-really-not salad.
And how gorgeous are those salad plates? This was our first time using them. I am so in love.
For the record I wasn’t going to serve bread of any kind at this meal, but since we already had a few drinks I called an audible and added a rando package of garlic croutons I had stashed in the cupboard — needed some carbs to soak up some of the tequila.
I’m going to make this another night as an entree, perhaps with a lovely piece of grilled fish on top.
When your man is leaving town, you best bring your A game when cooking his last meal before takeoff. This is what you want him thinking about when he gets on that plane and as he galavants around whatever fun, picturesque foreign land he’s heading to — without you.
Before B left to cover the Olympics in London, I made him my (famous to only myself) kale salad with tilapia, sauteed peppers and onions, tossed in a homemade secret spicy dressing. Or, not so secret anymore now that I’m posting the recipe on the interwebs.
[Ed. Note: It worked! He told me he wasn’t thinking about the TV coverage of the gymnastics or swimming when he was across the pond. Nope. Homeboy was all, my girl makes this crazy good salad.]