Salad Inspirations

There’s something thrilling about food shopping without a recipe. Last night I hungered for a salad, and I made my way to Whole Foods (I’ve been making my way to Whole Foods way too often lately) and stood in the produce section waiting for inspiration to alight.

“Excuse me,” said a woman, “You’re blocking the aisle.”

“One moment,” I snapped, “I’m waiting for inspiration to alight.”

She threw a tomato at my head.

That’s when I had a vision:

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I will make a salad with pre-packaged lettuces—but exotic ones, with frisee because that’s sophisticated! And I will roast some beets and add tangerine and bleu cheese! And so I found a tangerine—actually it was a tangelo, kind of a tangerine/orange combo—and bought “nutty, slightly sweet” bleu cheese from the cheese section. This was a big step for me because I come from a Cheesophobic family [my family, by the way, is still without electricity two days after Hurricane Wilma plowed through South Florida—trees toppled, roof tiles fell, and they’re cooking frozen peas on a Coleman stove to survive! Hopefully things will get better for them soon!] and bleu cheese is the final obstacle in my slowly advancing appreciation of cheese. I really like how bleu cheese works in this salad: I stole the idea from Deborah, where I ate a few weeks ago, pairing it with the tangelo and the beets to contrast the intense pungency.

As for the beets, I roasted them at 400 degrees in foil pouches—this time drizzled with olive oil, a touch of balsamic, and salt and pepper. At one hour, I stabbed them and removed them. They were more flavorful than the last time I roasted them just alone in the pouch. So I now have a beet-roasting technique I can be proud of.

4 comments

  1. Good luck to the family.

    Having done that with two small children last year I can tell you there is no shame calling around for a local hotel by day 3. That was our plan except power was restored!

  2. I am in Lee County on the Southwest Coast of Florida, I still don’t have power either and they are telling me it will be 2 weeks before I have power. Well I have a gas grill and I will be using it alot in the next 2 weeks. We have power at the office, so I will be using the fridge there to store my perishables, and my co-workers can’t wait until I start bringing in the leftovers. They are already planning the pilferage

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