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May 20, 2007

Salad, Simple and Sweet



I'd like to go into detail about the scrumptious vegan cornmeal-cherry upside-down cake I made as part of a vegan dinner party on Saturday night, but as I've already written about upside-down cakes once in the last week I will hold off for the time being.

Instead, on a day when the sun is gloriously shining after nearly a week of foggy skies, many are still detoxing from yesterday's Bay to Breakers madness, and I am personally getting over yet another weekend of stuffing myself with good food, my thoughts have turned to salad.

Interestingly, when I was younger, I didn't care much for salad. When I was a kid and my mom would put hunks of cheese into the bowl of lettuce, I was able to choke it down a bit more easily -- but on the whole, salad and I didn't much get along. Add this to the long list of produce Nicole once hated but now loves -- including tomatoes (hard to believe, but true), squash, avocados, and sweet potatoes.

Now, I miss salad when it doesn't accompany my dinner. I am not much of a raw foodist, so most meals are thoroughly cooked, but I love a bowl of fresh, crisp greens to cut through the heat, or fat, of the main dish. Even something as simple as mixed greens and cherry tomatoes is enough to make me very happy -- though I also love more elaborate salads with bleu cheese, or pumpkins seeds, or strawberries, or beets, or or or ...

Which is why I was quite pleased when I threw together this salad and dressed it with the easiest of things: a splash of oil olive, a splash of balsamic vinegar, and some salt and pepper put directly onto the greens and then lightly tossed. It looked so pretty I had to take not just one picture, but two.



I think I overdosed on asparagus in the past few days (a delicious asparagus-orzo pasta on Friday night; roasted asparagus on Saturday; and my white bean, mushroom, stir fry last night -- enough!), salad is definitely on the menu tonight for a mild change of pace.

Saturday Night Dinner, vegan, for five

White bean and garlic dip, served with olives and garlic bread

Bulgar wheat with chickpeas and tomatoes
Stewed butter beans with garlic and tomatoes
Roasted asparagus and cauliflower
Cucumber salad with fresh basil

Cornmeal-cherry upside-down cake

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