I love to cook and I love to eat good food.  Alas, the fact that I work 9-5 means that I can't do either as much as I would like, and like many I am often stuck at my desk during my lunch "hour".  My solution is to try to bring my lunch to work as much as I can.  This is my collection of recipes, all made quickly the night before (either as lunch or as dinner with leftovers that can be taken in).  Happy eating.

Thursday, 30 April 2009

Spring super salad

Following on from my rhapsody about salad dressing, I now have a beautiful beaker full of golden olive oil, velvety balsamic vinegar, nubbly whole-grain mustard, and a sprig of rosemary floating jauntily therein (ok, looking slightly bedraggled and drowned, but keeping up its spirits nonetheless).  I need to find a salad to test it out.

Some people speak of salads with a denigrating tone, talking about rabbit food, or using it to describe someone who is constantly dieting and doesn't enjoy food.  Au contraire, I say.  A salad can be light -- a few peppery leaves of arugula, some sliced roasted beets, and a shaving or two of aged pecorino -- or a full-on meal.  I'm sure you know where I'm going with this.

For me, a salad is the perfect excuse to throw everything I have into the bowl.  It's the contrast in textures and flavors that make for an interesting, not to mention filling, lunch or dinner.  If I have a salad for lunch, it needs to take me through the 4:00pm cake-hunger, gym after work, and home with enough fuel so I don't chew my arm off on the train.  This means lots of vegetables, chicken, beans or tuna (or more than one!), some nuts or seeds perhaps, and maybe some home-made bread crumbs or a new potato if the vegetable box brings them.  As usual, the French did it right.  I take my inspiration from the perfect salade nicoise.  Bon appetit!

Spring super salad:

2 tomatoes, sliced
1 large carrot, halved lengthwise and sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
A few small potatoes, boiled and cut into bite-size chunks
1/2 can canellini beans
1 small can oil-packed tuna
Handful (1/4 cup?) pumpkin seeds (toasted if you're feeling ambitious)
A small head of tender lettuce, or some large leaves of a bigger, more robust head
Balsamic vinegar dressing, or other of your choice

If you need to make salad dressing, mix enough for two portions in the bottom of a large bowl (say, 2 tsp olive oil, 1/2 tsp. vinegar, 1/2 tsp. mustard).  

Into the bowl, add tomato, carrot, bell pepper, potatoes and beans and mix in the salad dressing (adding pre-made if using that).  Stir through the chunks of tuna, then mix in the lettuce leaves.  Sprinkle the pumpkin seeds over the top.

Serves 2.


Sarah, The New Girl said...

good call about salads. Salad shouldn't mean "hungry later." This looks like a good one!! Loove pumpkin seeds :)

Fearless Kitchen said...

This looks like a great salad. The mix of colors is really appetizing!

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