Cooking always brings me back to my childhood and it all starts with my father and the countless hours he spent in our country garden, bending over the soil with his hoe or, in dry weather, carrying there bucket after bucket of water from the well. Even as a child, I knew how hard he worked and I understood the respect both my parents had for the food he grew.
Because I saw the unrelenting patience and determination, the often tiredness that culminated in this magic moment when we all sat at the lunch or dinner table, I have in me, to this day, the certitude that it is a sin to throw away food, and it is in that spirit that I open my refrigerator every Thursday and go hunting in the vegetable and fruit bins for what can be utilized before the Friday food shopping.
This is what I found this week:
In the vegetable bin:
Half a zucchini
The end of a cabbage
Some red leaf lettuce
A hand full of Arugula
Two or three celery stalks
The middle part of a bunch of asparagus which heads I used for a soufflé two days before.
In the fruit bin:
A few red grapes
This is perfect for “A little bit of this/A Little bit of that” salad:
“A Little Bit of This/A Little Bit of That” Salad:
- First, wash what needs to be washed, then, in a big bowl, throw together:The radishes and the zucchini, sliced as thinly as possibleThe shredded cabbageThe chopped scallionsThe celery stalks and the endive cut in 1/2 inch long segmentsThe lettuce leaves and the ArugulaThe grapes, cut in half if they are too bigThe apple, cored and cut into thinly sliced quartersThe steamed pieces of asparagus spears
- Throw in a few nuts if you have too many lying around. Pine nuts are great, sliced almonds, crushed walnuts etc...
- Mix everything together gently
- Add a few shavings of Parmesan cheese and freshly ground salt and pepper.
- This will serve six people. Spoon just what you need on your plate and pour the dressing over it. Keep the rest in a plastic container big enough so that the ingredients are fairly loose inside, and store in the refrigerator. It will keep fresh for several days.
My favorite dressing:
Sour cream and sesame dressing:
This is really a dip which is best used for steamed asparagus but can be enjoyed with broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, cherry tomatoes etc…
To use as a salad dressing, increase the amount of oil to 1/2 cup and the amount of lemon juice to a whole lemon.
Sour Cream and Sesame Dressing
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 cup low fat yogurt, or 1/2 cup yogurt and 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
- 1/4 cup freshly toasted sesame seeds (done in a frying pan on low heat until golden and fragrant)
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 cup squeezed juice of a lemon
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 grated garlic clove
- 10 French cornichons chopped very small (use the onion in the jar too)
- 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Mix all the ingredients together.