Greetings once again
from the Northwest, where a
blistering heat wave has been
pushing temperatures up into the
high 90s pretty much every day.
I know, I donít have
any right to complain ó the Kyrene
Corridor wonít be seeing
temperatures that reasonable until
Even so, itís been
too hot for me to feel like doing
much cooking, so Iíve been eating a
lot of salad. With the addition of
some protein ó cheese, nuts, eggs or
meat ó a salad can be an easy and
satisfying summer meal.
Well, probably easier
for you than me. Although my
basement apartment is pretty luxe by
helicopter pilot standards, it does
suffer from the conspicuous absence
of a kitchen sink.
I have to wash
vegetables and dishes in the
bathroom sink, which is do-able, but
not exactly convenient.
And because my
bare-bones arsenal of cooking
utensils doesnít include a salad
spinner, Iíve had to resort to the
pillowcase, a trick my
salad-fancying mom has employed for
This involves me
tossing my clean, wet lettuce leaves
into a clean, dry pillowcase, going
outside and spinning the contents
vigorously over my head.
It works surprisingly
well, although I feel pretty silly
doing it. Iíll be happy to get back
to my salad spinner.
Still, the terrific
variety of fresh produce around here
has been a treat, and has inspired
me to break out of the simple green
salad rut Iíve been in for months.
Here are two of my
happier combinations. The first is a
vaguely Asian salad inspired by one
I had at a nearby roadside produce
Iíve added eggs and
nuts to turn it into a respectable
lunch or dinner.
All proportions are
per person, but can be multiplied
First, make the
dressing by whisking together 1
tablespoon vegetable oil, 1 teaspoon
rice or apple cider vinegar, Ĺ
teaspoon soy sauce and Ĺ teaspoon
sugar in a small bowl. Set aside.
Wash and dry a
generous handful of lettuce or
spinach, torn into pieces. Clean and
strip the stems off of six sugar
snap peas and slice each one on the
diagonal into three or four pieces.
Wash and dice half of
a red bell pepper. Toss all of these
ingredients with half of the
dressing and arrange on a plate.
Top the salad with
one or two hard-boiled eggs,
quartered and sprinkled with salt,
and 1/4 cup unsalted cashews.
Drizzle on the remaining dressing.
Feel free to
experiment with toppings as you see
fit: slivered green onions or cubed
mango or avocado would not be out of
Hereís another salad
straight out of the Northwest. For
this one, make a lemony vinaigrette
by whisking together one tablespoon
olive oil, one teaspoon fresh lemon
juice, and a pinch of salt.
If you prefer, make a
balsamic vinaigrette by substituting
balsamic vinegar for the lemon
Wash and dry a
generous handful of lettuce and toss
with two sprigs of fresh dill, torn
into small pieces.
Toss the lettuce with
half of the dressing. Top with 2 to
3 ounces of smoked salmon or trout,
flaked. (For this, youíll want the
kind of smoked salmon sold as
vacuum-packed chunks, not the much
Add ľ cup toasted
walnuts and a handful of fresh
raspberries or blackberries, then
drizzle with the remaining dressing.
Now crank up the AC
and count the days until cooler