Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Week of Salads

I had this post planned for a while, but then life took a serious turn.  Now, though, with Thanksgiving looming, I though it might be appropriate.  Maybe you want to do your own week of salads after an indulging long weekend.

The idea came to me when we were hit with quite a lot of leafy items in our CSA box.  Instead of trying to make radicchio risotto or another plate of kale and polenta, I thought I would just let them shine as the center pieces of beautiful salads.  

I have to say that we never ate so well or so colorfully.

We liked this so much we ate it twice!  The colors can't be beat and the vinaigrette is the key in my opinion.  Substituted squash and cheese types, but it was very close to the recipe.

The sweet balsamic and salty olives and cheese really, really balance the bitter radicchio.  We've been eating some variation of this salad ever since discovering this recipe.

Day 3: Kale Caesar with Whole Wheat Croutons and Chopped Egg
I use Martha's caesar dressing recipe all the time, except I do it in the food processor and I use half the oil.  It's fool proof and makes enough for 4 servings.  And, yes, I make my own croutons, but I just toast mine in my cast iron skillet on the stove top.  Chopped egg for a little extra something.  Some folks might balk at the notion of raw kale, but it's sooooo good and satisfying.  Make sure to remove the stems and chop it finely.

Day 4: Escarole, Fennel, Parmesan and Pepitas

Loosely based on this recipe.  We still had Parmesan and pepitas in the house so we used those and I made my usual Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette, which is basically this recipe, minus the dried herbs and creme fraiche.  I also love escarole with mint!  
So there you go!  Do you ever have salads for dinner?  Would you consider doing it for a whole week?  
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!!!



Thursday, November 08, 2012


I posted some of these pictures on FB along with a kind of rant-y post about making donations to those affected by the storm.  I have been trying for a long time to come up with a way to share my volunteer experience in this space and give what I feel is helpful advice to those who read my blog.  It's not easy.

There are many many areas of the East Coast that were devastated by the storm, not the least of which is the beautiful coastline of NJ where I spent the summer vacations of my youth.  Rockaway Beach, Queens is a place a little bit closer to home these days, and one where both myself and The Man have started to feel like part of the community.  We spent many weekends there this summer and he has taken many early morning bus rides to the beach to surf before the sun rises.

Last weekend we were certain that we wanted to devote a day to helping those in need and it was without question that we headed out to Rockaway Beach.  The Man has made many friends at The Rockaway Beach Surf Club, where he stores his surf board, and the owners of the club have been spear-heading a volunteer relief effort in area.

What I've learned over the last week is this:  there are a lot of communities that have been hit hard, but not hard enough to get the attention of the Red Cross.  If you live near one of these places, try to direct your relief efforts as locally as possible.  Go to the local fire department or church or synagogue and ask them what they need or what you can do.  It's easy to text a donation to the Red Cross and for those of you who live far away that might be the best option for you.  
For the rest of you, there is dirty work to be done.  Can you give an afternoon to help clean out someones basement?  Because that's what people need.  They need actual, physical help.  The thought of losing all of your belongings in a flood is heart breaking enough without having to shovel out bags of water and sand soaked photo albums and family heirlooms from your basement by yourself.
If you want to donate, people need cleaning supplies (gloves, trash bags, bleach, brooms, shovels), food and, after yesterday, warm, waterproof coats and shoes.  
If you want to donate directly to the Rockaway Beach relief effort you can do so at  St. Jacobi Church in Sunset Park, Brooklyn is another location from where Occupy Sandy is sending relief directly to the Rockaways.  They are even organizing cars to transport supplies and volunteers.

OK, that's all.  Thank you.