Anything Goes Salad


After my New York Public Library event with Deb Perelman (there were 230 people there!), I’m rethinking my whole blog.

Somehow, through my aggressive questioning, I forced Deb to give up her blogging secrets. And the one that’s really staying with me the most is the fact that she cooks during the day to have daylight for her photos. That’s why her blog pictures always look so good. It doesn’t happen at night. My blog happens at night. Again, I have to rethink everything.

Also? Our entire approaches are different. She dreams up high quality posts and then works works works to execute those posts on the highest level. She tests the recipes multiple times. She takes serious time to edit her posts so the language is just right. Her policy is one of higher quality, lower quantity. My policy is pretty much ANYTHING GOES. Cue Patti Lupone.

Maybe this salad that I made last week is the perfect metaphor for everything that’s right and everything that’s wrong about my blog.

The salad isn’t a recipe that I dreamed up and planned for my audience; I just wanted a lot of raw vegetables for dinner after eating like a pig for a few days in a row. I already had carrots, celery and onions. I bought chickpeas, an English cucumber (which I peeled and seeded), an orange pepper, radishes, and cherry tomatoes. I chopped them all up into tiny pieces (Craig likes his salads cut small) and threw them into a large red bowl and almost stopped myself there, but then I dug up Kalamata olives in the refrigerator, so I chopped those up and added them; then, on a roll, I added chopped up walnuts and some raisins. I sprinkled everything with salt and pepper, poured on a good glug of olive oil and white wine vinegar and tossed everything with a big spoon.

To serve it, I toasted two thin slices of Eli’s Health Bread and spread them with good, softened goat cheese, before drizzling with olive oil. At the very end, I sprinkled everything–salad, bread, goat cheese–with za’atar, which does for salad what MSG used to do for Chinese food (minus all the side effects).


Now imagine if I had taken that picture in daylight. Imagine if I had planned this salad out more properly, if I offered you up a more formal recipe at the end of this post.


But I do like the idea of rethinking my approach: instead of just dumping whatever I have on my camera from the previous week on to the blog and calling it an entry, maybe I need to think more like a magazine editor, asking myself, “What’s something people really want to see?” and then crafting a post that fits that something.

Or… maybe I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing until you get sick of me. I mean, at least 1 of those 230 people had to be there for me on Monday night… right? RIGHT?

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