Every member in my family takes a great pride in being good at something.
My daughter is really good at reading clouds, ignoring her brother’s orders, spilling milk all over her new dress, reading books in the doorways, matching outfits, and conjugating verbs.
My son is very natural at making friends… and making funny faces in a mirror. He is also exceptionally skilled at chasing shadows, kicking pool water into people’s faces, sucking on his fingers, eating goggles, spinning around in circles, riding on a friend’s back, and multiplying 3 by 2.
My husband’s talents include taking wall-worthy pictures of me, free-style lap swimming, cracking jokes, making spooky-looking smoothies, moving hips to the beat, and imitating accents.
And me? I am an expert at day-dreaming, doing round kicks, blogging silly details about my family, making cards, and watching Iron Chef to the music of Katy Perry while running on an elliptical and writing blog posts – all at the same time.
I am also pretty darn good at designing salads.
My salad making skills have been polished to a high gloss. To become an expert in any craft (including cooking,) it takes continues practice. And do I practice!!!! To put it in perspective, I concoct at least 10 different salads each week.
For me, the secret of a good salad is always in the toppings: everything else serves as a foundation…. a base… a prelude… Whether it is a route vegetable, a leafy green, or a summer fruit salad, it is the layering of textures and flavors that bring the salad together.
For crunch, I always go to my favorites
- Freeze dried fruit (I am addicted to blueberries)
- Hominy (I make my own out of dry hominy)
- Toasted almonds
- Chia seeds
The flavor in my salads generally comes from
- Pungent Pecorino Romano or mild farmer’s cheese
- Citrus rind
- Kalamata olives
- Liquid aminos
- Flavored EVOs (smoked extra virgin olive oil is my new favorite)
- Aged balsamic vinegar (or try the one sold at Whole Foods)
I could go on and on but I will stop at this!
Here is a recipe of a simple weekday salad that only takes 5 minutes to put together and pairs well with pretty much anything, be it broiled salmon, grilled chicken, or even pasta.
Blueberry Surprise Salad
For the salad
For the dressing
- 1/4 cup aged balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon liquid aminos (or salt)
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3/4 cup smoked extra virgin olive oil
- In a large bowl, toss together the Arugula, blueberries and pepitas
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, pepper, and liquid aminos (or salt.)
- Pour over the salad, and toss to coat. (You may end up with more dressing than you need. Refrigerate the leftovers and use them on salad, chicken or fish.)
Robert Sinskey Vin Gris 2010, a Rose wine from Napa, is notably rich yet fruity and refreshing, making it a great partner to the peppery-mustardy arugula.