Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Leafy Joy

I am asked frequently what my last meal would be, and my answer does tend to disappoint. I love a salad. From baby greens tossed with Meyer lemon juice and a Sicilian extra virgin olive oil to a Romaine hearts with a Humbolt Fog blue cheese to a Cobb salad on a bed of peppery arugula. I am always satisfied by a salad and never quite got the concept that this was “diet” food.

Clearly, this leafy obsession can be traced back to my mom – nightly, she would lay a salad bowl on the table no matter what the night’s meal consisted of, and we got an array of salad dressing to choose from: French, Russian, Green Goddess and Zesty Italian where drizzled over various plates. Nine times at of ten I went for the Green Goddess with the occasional yearning for Italian. Today, I could not image bottled dressing on my table but I definitely continue my mother’s tradition of a nightly salad. While I could munch away on a head of any leaf, save iceberg, which has not made its way back into my crisper, I married a man that does not share my love of a bowl of leaves.

So, in an effort to please us both I add artichokes, cucumbers, olives, or jicama, anything to give him more texture and allow me to have forkfuls of lettuce. Okay, and I am also trying to get more salad into his diet, and making sure he will be there to that last meal.

                                                                       Cobb Salad – serves 4

6-cups packed, torn arugula  (or any leafy salad green)
4 slices cooked bacon – crumbled
1-pound tomato – chopped
½-pound roast turkey - chopped
1-avocado - diced
1-English cucumber – chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
½-cup lemon juice (from approx. 2 lemons)

In a 1-quart saucepan place the eggs, and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over a high flame, and cook for 7 minutes. Remove from the flame, and allow it to sit for a few minutes. Remove the eggs from the water, and peel.

Chop the eggs.

On a platter, or individual plates place the lettuce. Then arrange the bacon, tomato, turkey, avocado and cucumber over the lettuce strips so that each item is completely visible. Season the salad with black pepper. Then drizzle over the lemon juice.

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