Normally, February is the darkest, most dread-filled, dreadful, month of the year for me. It comes after the holiday re-coup month (January) and it can feel like there’s nothing to look forward to. What am I rambling about? I’ve always despised holidays. And I absolutely HATE seeing all the Halloween merchandise at Ralph’s starting in August (that we all know was lovingly made in China and is heading straight for our landfills). But I digress, anyway, despite Bah Humbugging from October through January, I still got the post holiday blues every year. Things were different this year. January & February flew by this year. No dark depression. No sense of isolation, due to conversing mainly with very small people who sometimes remind me of a lunatic and a drunk. (No offense any lunatics or drunks reading this.) In fact, this year, we attended an impressive number of aptly named Happy Hours.
Besides the Happy Hours, what was the difference this year? This year G’s parents stayed on after Christmas in a cozy little apartment just off of Main Street. We were able to zip back and forth between our place and theirs and did, often. Maddie had a few sleepovers there, she had Fridays alone with Nana & Papa (which meant I had Fridays alone with mySELF!!) and we attended every Happy Hour we could find! Our favorite “kid friendly” ones were at M Street Kitchen and The Victorian. G and I got a few mountain bike rides in and even got away for one night while Jack & Patsy babysat. Amazing!
Having family nearby for two solid months was so special in so many ways. Not only did we get a bit of time away from the kids, but the girls got special time WITH their grandparents. They got to hear “Yes” instead of “No.” and “NO. Wait, what did you ask me? Oh, NO.” And we also got to spend time with G’s parents. His sister and her new husband, Chris came out in January for a few days adding even more reason to be merry.
Sadly, February has finally come to an end despite Leap Year’s helping hand and G’s parents have returned to their home. There was a sense of emptiness coming home from LAX after we dropped them off. Still, the bad month has passed, holding the February dreads at bay for another year.
After Jack & Patsy left, I thought I ought to have a healthy goal for this month. Something to keep me occupied. Since I knew it wouldn’t involve exercise, I decided to do a salad a day for the month of March (and hopefully share the noteworthy ones on the blog.) One of my favorite Christmas gifts from my in-laws was “Plenty” by Yotam Ottolenghi.
The gorgeous pictures and mouthwatering recipes are truly enrapturing until it comes down to trying to actually gather some of the rather exotic ingredients. Fortunately one of the simplest recipes is for “Lettuce Salad.”
You all, I know I tend to describe my recipes as “yummy” and “tasty.” But all those yummy & tasty recipes make me sick now that I’ve tasted this salad. I am NOT kidding (except about the recipes making me sick)! This salad is unlike any salad I’ve had!!
I LOVE THIS SALAD.
It’s easy to make, (especially when you fudge some of the ingredients – dear Yotam, with all due respect, I was in the Ralph’s on Lincoln in Venice this AM. It’s not the nicest Ralph’s and they did not carry sun dried tomatoes, never mind sun KISSED. So I had to use the sun dried ones I had from Trader Joe’s. I know you, dear Yotam, do not like the “harsh flavor & texture” of sun dried tomatoes but I LOVED them in this salad! My palate is obviously not refined enough to know the difference. And that’s why I shopped at Ralph’s on Lincoln. Also, because I happened to be at the hardware store across the street beforehand.
Ralph’s on Lincoln: the proletariat market!!!
Anyway, of course this salad would be best with veg from the Farmer’s Market but since I was unable to get myself there this week, I had to make do. I’m happy to report, the results were amazing.
Use this recipe when you have guests over and are serving something rich. The beauty, brightness and complex flavors are sure to impress…
Here’s what you’ll need:
(all lettuces need to be rinsed & dried – dried being very important so the dressing can cling)
1 head of butter lettuce, leaves separated
1 head of radicchio, leaves separated & torn
1/2 head of curly lettuce (I used green lettuce), leaves separated
3 green onions, sliced thinly on a sharp angle
20 radishes, trimmed and thinly sliced
2 c sun dried tomatoes (or slow-roasted if you can find/make them)
2 TBSP capers, whole if small or very roughly chopped
Toss all that into a large salad or mixing bowl. Now make the dressing.
1 garlic clove, crushed
1-1/2 TBSP lemon juice
1-1/2 TBSP olive oil
1 TBSP grape seed oil (I didn’t have any so used more olive oil)
salt & black pepper
Whisk those ingredients together & add salt & pepper to taste. Pour salad dressing over the salad and toss gently. Transfter to a large mixing bowl and sprinkle capers over the top. AMAZING!!!!
- SALAD INGREDIENTS
- 1 head of butter leaves (wash, dry & tear leaves of all lettuces)
- ½ head of curly lettuce (or whatever is available – red lettuce would be good)
- 1 head of radicchio
- 3 green onions, sliced thinly and on an angle
- 20 radishes, trimmed and thinly sliced
- 2 c slow-roasted or sun-dried tomatoes
- 2 TBSP capers (chopped coarsely if they are large)
- DRESSING INGREDIENTS
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1-1/2 TBSP lemon juice
- 1-1/2 TBSP olive oil
- 1 TBSP grape seed oil
- salt & black pepper
- Combine the salad ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
- Make the dressing by whisking together the ingredients and adding salt & pepper to taste.
- Being sure your lettuce leaves are all dry, drizzle the dressing over the salad & toss gently. Sprinkle capers over the top & serve.
Stay tuned for the salad-a-day challenge in March…