I’m steering myself toward spring-y, lighter fare these days. The two trips in a row – despite lots of walking and beautifully fresh fruits and veggies – definitely have me feeling weighed down. Blech. My butt declares it’s high time to cash in on the mood boost of these longer days of sunlight (cuz I’m sure not relying on balmy temps) and ease up on the output of my kitchen. The nesting has been great fun (wine in front of the fireplace? Popovers with Hope Creamery butter? Wine and popovers with Hope Creamery butter in front of the fireplace?) but it feels great to be getting outdoors more, too.
In that vein, salads are tasting particularly good to me. Yeah, we eat them all winter of course, but my latest love is lighter on the green, heavier on the other colors. A chopped salad of sorts, although a shaved salad is probably a better description. Paper thin slices of a variety of veggies allows a burst of flavor in each bite – more exposed surface area, seriously – and a nice texture, crisp but not outright crunchy. With a generous squeeze of fresh lemon, a drizzle of best olive oil, coarse salt, and lots of freshly ground pepper, it just tastes like spring. Spring! And it’s a great way to rummage through the crisper and make something pretty and tasty with what’s on hand – tonight’s version included equal amounts of shaved mushrooms, radishes, scallions, celery, carrots, romaine hearts, and red pepper. If the slices are thin enough (use a sharp chef’s knife or mandoline), you can use any raw vegetable – broccoli stalks, asparagus spears, kohlrabi. Light & lovely, your butt and taste buds will thank you.