Thursday, July 12, 2012

Paris, Ce Soir!

I'm going to Paris tonight!! Work is slow and I'm tired. I had really bad insomnia Monday night and maybe halfish of a normal night of sleep last night. I can't help it! I'm so excited and looking forward to my trip, but that has the flip side of making me all nervous and worried about tiny details that are outside of my control. The mercy of planes, trains, subways, and the important little things that can derail a whole experience. Just talking about that is stressing me out!

With E gone, I've been trying to mainline veggies from our CSA (community supported agriculture). I love the CSA (third year running) and this year we're getting lots more stuff. The other day I just ate two plain cucumbers, no nothing on them. Just because they were that delicious. It was a kind of cool feeling.

So here are a couple of successful CSA-inspired recipes (don't get me into my failures, at least just yet.) Try them! (I'm looking at you Laura!)

Awesome better-than-Greek Salad

A mix of red leaf or romaine lettuce with the bitter-y salad greens they give me at the CSA
A small cucumber
Tomatoes if you're oh-so lucky
feta cheese
sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil (used the Trader Joe's brand)
salami, sliced and sliced so it's teeny
basil leaves, chopped

Then, make a homemade salad dressing, because YUCK! the jarred ones are nasty and no one even knows it anymore because we just grow up on them!! One, I cannot stand to eat 25 salads with the same exact dressing, and Two, once you start making your own salad dressing you just can't go back (except maybe to the super-gourmet brands they sell in the refrigerated section of Whole Foods. We like the blue cheese dressing there because it actually has blue cheese in it. We bought the Marie Callendar's one at another store and shit separated and the main ingredient wasn't blue cheese, but canola oil. You get what you pay for.). A year ago our office ordered pizza and salad and I had to throw away my salad because I tried to use one of those dressing packets, and it tasted SO SWEET and nasty. I was proud of my palate for saying no to corn syrup

I make them up, but generally you want 5tbsp of nice olive oil to 2 tbsp of acid (lemon juice, balsamic, apple cider vinegar). You add an emulsifier, like a spoonful of dijon mustard. Then season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper, some herbs in the garden, or dried if it's winter, and maybe something sweet like a bit of OJ you have in the fridge or jam or honey or maple syrup. VOILA!

The Greek one had olive oil, apple cider vinegar, mustard, a handful of herbs, and I think I added some worchestershire to give it some oomph because I wasn't feeling it...maybe some white miso paste too? Well goodness I wish I remembered because once I immersion blendered that baby it was super green and awesome. (Another thing, get an immersion blender!)

I'm sick of recipe-writing for now but I also made two summer squash soups. The first I chilled and tasted more raw-y (even though veggies were cooked) and the second I roasted the squash and onions and holy moly that was among the top soups I have ever made. The trick to these two, again, is the immersion blender. It's so much easier to eat your veggies when they're pureed. I think I will be eating lots more veggies if I keep this up!!

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