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Table for One?

The only time I ever really want a big green salad is when the weather is hot. That's today, so I went over to Whole Foods and loaded up on those mixed baby greens they sell in bulk.

(First I saw the berries, though. I scooped about a pound of bulk blueberries gently into one of the provided paper bags and a few steps further into the produce department the bottom of the bag just opened and...blueberries everywhere--good thing they weren't marbles, huh?--and the poor woman working there looked at me like I was a stupid annoyance until I held up my paper bag, now a paper tube, and said, not without sarcasm, "Good bag," at which she still looked a little pissed off though not so much at me as at the world of badly-made paper bags. So I left her to it because what was I going to do, get a broom and help? and as I made my way to the dairy case I heard the intercom requesting cleanup in the produce department. I'm not usually the cause of that kind of announcement.)

Once back at home, I added some kale to the greens (as Carrie Brownstein once tweeted, "Ugh. Kale. Feels like a pity fuck every time," and julienne-ing the stuff finely and disguising it with other things, it turns out, makes it edible). Then I added a significant number of roasted hazelnuts. Because I cannot live by leaves alone.

I tossed this lovely blend in my famous (to me) blue-cheese-honey-mustard-vinaigrette dressing, and sat down to a hearty, chewy, crunchy meal of delicious salad and Vicious Circle, Book Two in the Felix Castor series by Mike Carey, and life is pretty good.

Mixed green salad with hazelnuts on a colored glass plate

Blueberries for dessert!

Crossposted from Dreamwidth, where there are comment count unavailable comments.


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 21st, 2013 01:13 am (UTC)
Your salad is beautiful and so is your *plate*!
Jul. 21st, 2013 03:37 am (UTC)
I'm enjoying my plates. They help make kale palatable.
Jul. 21st, 2013 01:38 am (UTC)
Last time I was in Chinatown I bought a package of little rounds of vegetarian "chicken" that look like Rice Krispie treats but do in fact taste sort of like chicken, so I cut some rounds into slivers, sautéed them in olive oil, and sprinkled them on mixed bitter salad leaves, with a quasi-Asian dressing (rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, leftover dipping sauce from the Thai takeout place).
Jul. 21st, 2013 03:40 am (UTC)
That sounds good. I'd be leery of the MSG content in vegetarian chicken--is that a problem for you? Mind you, I can use reg'lr chicken--happen to have some that needs eating up, in fact. I've got the other items, more or less. Hm...Maybe for tomorrow's lunch!
Jul. 21st, 2013 10:48 am (UTC)
MSG doesn't bother me, although I prefer that restaurants/food processors provide their umami via less "short cut" ingredients instead of laying on the MSG with a trowel.

I was too lazy to get out the immersion blender, but a dressing with lots of fresh carrots and ginger root would work a treat with chicken over greens. Or maybe chicken, Chinese cabbage, and bean thread noodles?

BTW a few weeks ago there was a local dialect meme, and my first thought for "what do you call the thing you carry your lunch in?" was "tiffin carrier."
Jul. 21st, 2013 05:06 pm (UTC)
That question in the dialect meme kind of stumped me: apart from "lunchbox" I don't know any widespread term for it. Lunch-pail, maybe?

I haven't used my tiffin in a while. Somehow, the kind of breakfast-and-lunch I've settled into doesn't fit it very well. Occasionally I still deploy it, or one of my bento boxes, but these days I've got a whole system consisting of two smaller stainless steel containers and bandanna-wrapped veggies. I should do a post on it.

You frequently mention an immersion blender, from which I gather it's a significant tool in your kitchen. What are its key advantages? I seem to get by with a whisk, but I wonder what I'm missing.
Jul. 21st, 2013 06:01 pm (UTC)
I think of whisks as being used to agitate things, whereas immersion blenders are used to smash things to buggery. You can make hollandaise sauce with either, but I wouldn't like to try making hummus with a whisk!

I really like pureed soups. If you want to puree soup in a blender, you have to do it a little at a time and make sure the top doesn't fly open and redecorate the ceiling, and you're pouring hot soup and, if you're me, are likely to pour it all over clothes. With the immersion blender, all you have to do is run the stick blender in the original soup pot. Easier, less dangerous, and less to wash. Also works for tomato sauce, chutney, or anything that is in larger pieces than you want it to be eventually.

And you can make mayonnaise or similar emulsified sauces, or dips and spreads, with the immersion blender in a big bowl. I haven't done it yet, but it should be the work of a minute to make expensive tofu "cream cheese" at almost nil cost and in any flavor.
Jul. 21st, 2013 06:17 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I should think that having one would prompt many uses. It sure seems like it would beat a food mill! I have one, it takes up dumb amounts of cupboard space, and I've used it, at most, twice.
Jul. 21st, 2013 06:50 pm (UTC)
I would suggest getting the posh kind where the cord detaches--then you can soak it in the sink. I have the cheap kind which is a little tricky to wash.

My other favorite kitchen thing is the mouli julienne. Another favorite salad of mine is julienne beets (I use canned ones, don't tell the Foodie Police), apples, and roasted sunflower seeds with sour cream. A few thwoops and everything is in strands.
Jul. 21st, 2013 07:05 pm (UTC)
I have one of those, too, and it is so difficult to get out, use, clean, and put away that actual knife-work is easier. I probably got the wrong one.

I like your idea about canned beets, because I love beets and I buy them and then don't roast them or whatever the cool thing is to do with them (juice and drink them, according to my sister, but I just can't) and then they go to waste. Apple-beet-sour-cream salad sounds wonderful.
Jul. 21st, 2013 07:58 pm (UTC)
I think they only make one kind! And the feet really should be higher up. And it is a bit of a carry-on, so I only get it out when I'm going to be doing a production job.
Jul. 22nd, 2013 07:38 am (UTC)
That salad looks very delightful and yummy. My salad for lunch is usually the ready-to-eat ones straight from the supermarket shelves!
Jul. 22nd, 2013 04:21 pm (UTC)
Ah, but you eat a salad regularly like a smart person. Salads are a rare thing for me! (I'm not quite as bad as Dean there in your icon, but I am definitely not Sam, either. :D)
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )



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