Saturday, January 16, 2010

Oh Salad

There's a passage in Alice Waters and Chez Panisse where Alice muses (and I'm paraphrasing here) that given her own immense love of salad, it would be unfathomable to her that her young daughter Fanny wouldn't just come out of the womb craving it.

Lucky for Alice, this is essentially the case, and she's able to make wee Greek salads to tuck into young Fanny's lunchbox, which she happily gobbles right up.

Let's just say that's not so much what's going down at my house.

If my kiddos liked certain foods solely based on the fact that I liked them, there would be no need for this blog. They'd be happily lapping up any number of delicacies that they currently (vehemently) refuse, like, yes, salad.

I love salad in ways that a mere blog post can't adequately describe. Like Jora, I could eat it every day. In fact, if I had a pick only one thing to eat if stranded on a desert island, it would most certainly be salad...+ it's a perfect meal for when you're stuck in a post-holidays cooking rut (thank you for all your great suggestions/support for crawling out by the way, I just picked up a slow cooker cookbook, and I'm using that until inspiration strikes again...)

But the girlies, well the girlies won't touch salad.

I realize it's largely a component thing, as they like tomatoes and carrots and celery and any number of other things you'd put on a salad, but they just don't like them all tossed together with dressing (oh God no, not dressing...) oh and and stinky cheese. I think salad is infinitely better with some stinky cheese perched on top.

So for this one, (and truth be told, many others I'm sure) I'll just have to live vicariously through Alice, but I'm hoping the girlies will come around to my beloved salad... One day.

The blood oranges are gorgeous right now, so I built a salad around a couple I picked up at Whole Foods this weekend. Super simple and v. yummy.

Blood Orange Feta Salad
  • One small head of butter lettuce washed and torn into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup Feta cheese
  • One blood orange thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup salted macadamia nuts, lightly crushed
  • (this weekend I used sesame garlic SASS dressing, which is pretty much the only bottled dressing I'll buy, but my favorite dressing is below)

  • 1 cup walnut oil
  • ½ cup chardonnay vinegar
  • 1 tsp. sugar (or more, to taste)
  • 1 shallot finely minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. This salad sounds lovely. Do you have a suggestion for a substitute for walnut oil? I'm allergic to walnuts, but I would love something that is nutty and rich and different from olive oil to experiment with in a dressing. What would you sub in for walnut oil if you couldn't use it?

  2. MommyTime -- you could try sunflower oil...or even hazlenut oil. I bet either would be nice!

  3. I clicked on this post but didn't have a chance to read it before I had to leave. It subconsciously made me buy blood oranges about which I am quite excited.

  4. My kids are the same way about salad--so we make our salads with all the goodies on a plate in their own little piles and the kids just take a few of each of the extras without the lettuce or dressing while DH and I make up the salad mix on our plates. Its worked out well for getting them to eat veggies and I hope someday they'll be more adventurous and try it all together.

  5. my idea of a PERFECT salad. love the use of walnut oil and i'm crazy about anything citrus these days.

  6. oh, the pain of loving salads, and small kids who do not. we, here, just parse it out, the veg, and call it "deconstructing dinner". but still, sigh....

  7. Jos -

    I just made a killer salad (recipe from a friend) that you might want to try:

    3 cups cooked Quinoa
    3/4 cup Edamame
    1/2 diced cucumber
    2/3 red pepper
    1/2 roasted corn
    handful chopped spinach
    1 clove garlic
    3-4 Tbs. fresh flat leaf parsley
    salt & pepper
    olive oil
    balsamic vinegar

    I am addicted to this Salad.

  8. Suse -- that salad looks great...definitely on my "to make" list
    thanks lady.

  9. oh salad - sometimes my 2 and 4 year old eat it, but sometimes they don't. Contrary to your girls, they think the dressing is the best part :) And anything crunchy like nuts or seeds.