Saturday, January 3, 2009

my favorite winter salad

Today was a puttering sort of day. I tried to focus and finish a few drawings I started in December but it just wasn't happening. The only thing I managed to do well tonight was dinner.

We have to periodically defrost our sorely outdated freezer. Luckily, at least as far as cleaning goes, the freezer is smaller than two or three of my textbooks and all I found in there were two packs of sausages we bought a while ago at the farmer's market. The boudin blanc I wanted to save for later, so tonight I roasted up the wild boar and apple sausage and served it with a simple lentil salad and roasted potato mash. For a second course, I served this salad.

I think I found the recipe in the New York Times a couple years ago, and since then I've been making it every couple weeks or so. It almost seems ridiculous to call it a recipe. All you have to do is mince a small clove of garlic and mix it up with the juice and zest of a small lemon, salt, freshly ground black pepper, and some olive oil. Then get a good handful of what I like to think of as "softer" winter greens. So: Swiss chard and dinosaur kale are good contenders; their more recalcitrant siblings, like red or green kale and collard greens, are too tough. Wash and pat the leaves dry, remove the ribs, and chiffonade them as thin as you can. Toss the greens with the lemon dressing and let it sit for a bit, five to ten minutes depending on how much tooth you want, then grate a bunch of pecorino or parmesan over the whole mess and mix it up and serve.

It's more substantial than a lettuce salad, because of the heft of the kale, but dressing is bright and lively and keeps it from feeling too hearty. On the rare occasion that Camden can't make it home for dinner I have this on its own, with some candied fruit or some such sweet morsel for dessert.

I listed one more silhouette in the shop, too:

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