Winter salad

February 5, 2010

Who says that winter is a wretched, terrible, not at all good time for salads?

Well, I do, most of the time.  But look!  This combo is pretty darn tasty.  And it’s so good for you that you can feel mighty righteous after eating it and justify just about any kind of dessert afterwards.

Winter salad

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 carrots
  • 1/2 small red cabbage
  • 1 thimble-sized bit of ginger
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • gorgonzola
  • curly parsley
  • olive oil, salt, pepper to taste

Of course, you know how to throw it all together without any help from me.  So I’ll just contribute this one nugget of wisdom: once you’ve cooked the quinoa, toss the chopped ginger and garlic in right away and let it all steam under the lid for another couple of minutes with the heat off.  This takes a bit of the zing out of the garlic.  Your coworkers will thank you for that if this ends up being your lunch the following day.

Let’s transition ever so gently into this upcoming week that threatens to hold me responsible for getting up at the rude hour of 8:00 7:00, putting on a grown-up outfit, and actually getting some work done.  How about something both righteously wholesome and just a touch decadent on this last day of this most delicious of breaks, to make the transition bearable…

Polenta rounds with prosciutto, goat cheese, and onion+pepper relish

  • 1 polenta log
  • 5-6 strips prosciutto
  • as much goat cheese as you’d like
  • a tablespoon or two of pepper+onion relish, or something else along similar lines of zappiness
  • fresh dill

You can guess the rest: layer it all in the way that pleases your heart and pop it into the oven for 10 minutes or so at 375F.  And look how perfectly your creation will nestle against a salad of mixed greens and garbanzo beans!

Perhaps you were hoping I’d finally run out of hazelnuts?  Not so fast!  (Just be glad I’m taking a break from my smoked paprika obsession.)

Golden beet salad with hazelnuts

  • 1/4 cup toasted, chopped hazelnuts
  • 2 medium beets, cut into stripes
  • 2-3 fistfuls salad greens
  • olive oil, balsamic vinegar
  • salt to taste
  1. Toss beets with olive oil and ~1/3 tsp salt.
  2. Roast at 375F for 20 minutes.  Check whether another 5 or so minutes are warranted.
  3. Toss with salad greens, hazelnuts, and a splash of vinegar.

Spinach salad with sunchokes

November 13, 2009


Really, Internet?  You say sunchokes cause grueling episodes of gastrointestinal distress and volcanic gas eruptions?  But look how charmingly quirky and innocent-looking they are!


Ok, I admit: it is a little bizarre that the water in which a sunchoke is steamed ends up looking like this:


But we’re courageous folks, so we soldier on.  We’re going to have a spinach-&-sunchoke salad, toxic-looking liquid and gas rumors be damned!

  • 1 sunchoke (a.k.a. Jerusalem artichoke)
  • 3 fistfuls of spinach leaves
  • 1/4 small red onion
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • glugs of olive oil and balsamic vinegar

And we will toss it all together, and we will eat it, and it will be lovely.

And then we will wait.


Do you ever find yourself promising a dozen of your dearest friends homemade baklava?  And then, much later, realize that you need to spend a perfectly inconvenient weeknight elbow-deep in butter and sugar and nuts in order to keep this promise?


Well, if you ever do, here’s what you should throw together for a quick dinner just after you’ve tucked the baklava into the oven and just before your blood sugar levels plummet below the safe-for-husband threshold:

  • 2-3 fistfuls of fresh spinach
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 2 pears
  • 1 fistful of walnuts
  • a toss of blue cheese crumbles
  • a splash of balsamic vinegar