Here There Be Salads

Dear Kaki,

I’ve made quite a few things in the kitchen lately.  I made a pulled pork shoulder in the slow cooker that made for some excellent lunch sandwiches (with my favorite barbecue sauce, naturally).  I made a healthy take on cheesecake that was just this side of God Awful.  I made an eggplant and pasta dish that I need to freakin’ take pictures of so I can tell you all about it.

What do I have pictures of?  Salads.*

Some of them were of the Really Really Freakin’ Good variety.  I used some of those caramelized onions to make this Shutterbean salad:


As you can see, besides the caramelized onions (yes), arugula (yes!), toasted walnuts (YES), and feta (YES!), I added some chopped cucumber, which was a nice, cool addition.  Also, salt, pepper, a drizzle of olive oil, and a drizzle of the fig balsamic vinegar I scooped up on sale last fall made for a heavenly dressing, no emulsification necessary.

Then, using some baked tofu I made using this method, and the sauce from this recipe as the dressing, I mixed up this guy:


The secret success to this combo of collard greens, red quinoa, tofu, toasted walnuts, and tahini dressing?  Some teeny shreds of fresh basil left in the quinoa from an earlier recipe.  Basil and tahini ended up being phenomenal together.  Who knew?

(Also, the baked tofu?  Since it was cold from the fridge there wasn’t anything crispy about it.  It actually had a chew almost like big cubes of cheese, which I loved over a salad.)

Finally, this salad was more of the “Well That Was An Interesting Idea” variety.  I’d made an unsweetened granola** recipe to take to a dinner party where one of the hosts doesn’t do added sugar.  I, um, do added sugar, so I was trying to figure out what to do with the leftovers of unsweetened granola.  Enter leftover arugula and tahini dressing and voila:



It was, again, an interesting idea, this savory granola over a salad.  I mean, the toasted nuts and dried fruits make it into salads all the time.  The oats were certainly out of the ordinary, though, and I’m not sure I’d do it again, at least not in this specific combo.  Plus I found the arugula and the tahini dressing did not pair well together.  I think a heartier green for the tahini dressing, and a more citrus-y or vinegar-y dressing for the arugula would work better.

Next time I’ll post about how I’ve used my new food processor!  I am so excited to finally have one.  I would like to point out two things about this food processor: 1) I got it from Craigslist for half off the retail price.  Yup, the exact model I’d been wanting.  Score!  And 2) I broke it the very first time I used it.  Dropped one of the less important pieces which proceeded to break in a “I still function but now I look ugly and have sharp edges” kind of way.  Isn’t that just typical?  🙂

In other news, I get to see you over the 4th!  Also, it’s halfway through June.  When did that happen, exactly?

Miss you, see you soon-ish,



P.S. What should I bring to San Antonio for the 4th?  Breakfast-y things?  Snack-y things?  Beverage-y things?  I suppose not breakfast, as I assume we’ll get Taco Taco.  Am I right to assume that?  Say yes.

*Why is this?  I suspect because green is pretty.  Pulled pork is tasty but brown and not pretty.  Eggplant and pasta and red sauce is brown and beige and red and not necessarily pretty.  Green with lots of other interesting textures?  Pretty.  Photo-inspiring.  Even “sneak a picture with your phone before your co-workers’ see and wonder what on earth you’re doing” worthy.

**I also, you know, made the sweetened version, which was this Orangette recipe.  Oh my God, Kaki.  It’s sweet and salty and crunchy and divine.  I am in love with this granola, and I don’t care who knows about it!


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