Ask me what I feel like eating for lunch and chances are I’ll say, “Salad.” And I’m not talking about wimpy, gotta-lose-some-weight salads. These are salads crafted with all-important salad elements: protein, crunch, color, variety. A plate of lettuce is a like a blank slate, just waiting to be turned into a culinary masterpiece.
Most days the salad elements consist of things like last night’s leftover pork, black beans or tomatoes and whatever cheese I can find in the fridge. Sometimes, though, the contents of the fridge fortuitously come together to create a refreshing and gratifying salad. Such was the case last Thursday. It was the last day of winter and the sun spilling onto the back deck had me craving a lunch to welcome spring. With a plate of romaine as my tabula rasa, I grew excited as I discovered what we had in the fridge: cucumber, red bell pepper, goat cheese. All I needed to do was sprinkle on some pepitas, tear up a handful of cilantro, drizzle on some olive oil and orange muscat champagne vinegar. Add a few grinds of black pepper and my salad was ready. Yum. Welcome, spring.