Kale avocado and persimmon salad

December 17, 2011 § 4 Comments

My lunch has left me fixating on leaves.  It’s similar to when you think too long about a word and after a bit you aren’t sure whether it actually is a real word because at that point it sounds too weird to you.  I do this relatively frequently with the word ‘which’. It’s awkward.

Anyhow, as I ate my lunch – this unabashedly leafy salad – the fact that we eat leaves became odder and odder to me.  Leaves, people!  I started to feel like maybe I was confused.  Maybe I was a manatee or giraffe or some other animal that grinds away pensively at greenery.

Do we really eat leaves?  The red bursts of the poinsettias decorating coffee tables at this time of year, those are leaves.  On my run yesterday I chased some last oak leaves as they fluttered down from the trees (I find chasing after falling leaves to be one of the most elating and gleeful activities.  It always makes me feel like I’m 4 or 5 again).  They weren’t that dissimilar from the foundation of my salad (well, apart from being dried out and brown, which my salad distinctly wasn’t).

It was a disconcerting moment.  Particularly because a not inconsequential portion of my diet is made up of leaves.  In fact, I love leaves.  In the summer, I eat salad like it’s my full time job.  In the winter, I eat a lot of greens as well, but usually in sauteed or braised form, which renders them far less leafy looking.

Perhaps that’s why I was having trouble with the concept of leaf-eating.  As mid-winter bears down on us, salads do tend to seem incongruous.  Cool, refreshing, light, not exactly what you’re looking for when you want rib stickiness, something to warm you from the inside out.

But, there are exceptions.  Salads robust and hearty enough to deserve a place on the winter table.  And, in spite of my perplexing ruminations while eating it, I do believe this is one of them. « Read the rest of this entry »

Roasted carrot and avocado salad

November 17, 2011 § 13 Comments

So, I know I said that I’m going for simple dishes right now, but I had to make an exception for this sexy little number.  I mean, just look at it.  Can you say no to this salad?

I didn’t think so.

I want to be forthright with you and let you know right from the start, this is a fussy piece of work.  But it’s worth it!  Worth it for the oohs and ahhs it will garner, as much for its flashy good looks as its gorgeous layers of flavors.

It’s a “chef recipe” (different from a chef salad!), hence the little twists and turns of technique that take extra time and attention but also elevate a salad to dinner party fare, or beyond.  The original recipe is from ABC Kitchen in New York (I think that means it errs on the side of haute) and translated for the home kitchen in the new Serious Eats cookbook.

I saw it on the food52 website, and my I-need-to-cook-that-right-now-dar started beeping like a metal detector in Fort Knox. (Do metal detectors even detect gold?  They do, right? I’m imagining one of those goofy paddle-shaped ones people bring to the beach, not the kind you walk through before going into a government building.) « Read the rest of this entry »

Soothing avocado soup

July 23, 2011 § 9 Comments

I’m afraid I don’t really know what to say right now. I’m in shock.  Still in shock and disbelief over the unspeakable tragedy yesterday in Norway.

My parents and brother are there right now visiting the rest of our family.  I got a call to say they were alright even before I saw the news.  I was relieved, but also had the wind knocked out of me by the horror.  I spent the rest of the day checking the Norwegian news for updates.  And intermittently bursting into tears.

« Read the rest of this entry »

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