Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Another Great Salad

Are you like me? do you go through "seasons" of cravings? For the longest time, salads simply did not appeal to me. I probably had eaten a few too many lackluster restaurant salads which look fabulous on the menu, but by the time the bacon, egg, chicken and cheese are stripped away, are naught but an iceberg blend with mealy, hothouse, out-of-season tomatoes and a few strips of oxidized carrot. No thank you, I'd rather go home and saute some collards. I've made so many delicious variations of my sauteed greens lately, living as a virtual shut-in with uncharacteristically icy roads here in Georgia.

Nesting and hibernating with the family leads to craving comfort foods too, so with all hands on deck for days at a time, I've made many pasta and bread dishes. Feeling sluggish and a little fluffy from lack of yoga and our recent carb-loading, the salad craving season is now back in full swing! We don't make boring, wimpy salads around here though. My recent forays into salad-building cleanse and refresh, but pack a protein punch too. This one is "Farmer's Salad" from Kris Carr's Crazy Sexy Kitchen. It was outrageously delicious. It's basically the best potato salad you could ever imagine eating. It calls for fresh arugula, which I thought I had purchased with a coupon at Kroger after carefully checking the "best by" date of 2/21/14, but it turns out Kroger's arugula is sad and stinky. It seems to be going bad early. I put the leaves I thought I could work with in a bath of cold water and took the time to pick through them. I was left with only a small handful I deemed acceptable. Luckily, since I pick up pretty, fresh bouquets of kale wherever I see them, even if I am already well-stocked ["Hello, I am Cheryl, I am a Kale Hoarder"] I was all set with plan B. I supplemented the sad little arugula leaves with a couple of big handfuls of fresh, happy raw kale. This salad was amazing and even better the next day. The kale held up better overnight than the arugula, so I will use only arugula next time.

From time to time, as a frequent veggie buyer, I've returned produce which looked good on the outside but turned out not to be. In this case, since we are in a State of Emergency with little ice pellets still bouncing off my tin roof, I'll just stay off the streets and be grateful for my sad little arugula's role in my fabulous salad, and I probably won't buy it there anymore. I don't think arugula is Kroger's forte -- in hindsight, I don't remember ever getting an impressive batch there. I continue to enjoy their kale, though.

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