Sometimes culinary inspiration comes from the most unlikely places. Like, say, a clothing catalog from a company called Boden.
No, I’m not kidding. Seriously.
Color combinations have always intrigued me. Who says red and fuchsia can’t be worn together? Or gray and brown? Or olive and spring greens?
Not Boden, that’s for sure.
So, not only has Boden inspired me to look at colors differently and be bolder with my palette combinations, they also inspired this unusual salad.
It’s that simple really. Clockwise from the top left the ingredients are chopped carrots, celery, beets, red pepper, pumpkin seeds and radishes. This huge variation of color guarantees a generous amount of nutritious vitamins and minerals. How awesome is that now?!!
Toss with chopped romaine lettuce…
and spoon on your favorite dressing.
That was the hard part for me – coming up with a fun, unusual dressing that would compliment the salad without taking away from the goodness of all those veggies.
Mom had just brought in the last of the basil from our garden, so I minced that along with some fresh chives and stirred it into my yogurt and mayonnaise base. A squeeze of lime juice, a shake of salt and a couple teaspoons of capers later and it was ready to serve.
The main course though, is what I’m really excited about. I’ve been reading this fabulous book called A Thousand Days in Tuscany by Marlena de Blasi. I’m not a fan of novels, but Marlena has totally won me over with her Italian phrases, descriptions of Tuscan food and delicious recipes. It helps to have experienced a small, very small, taste of what she writes about and makes me want to plan a return trip to Italy just to cook.
However, that’s not happening any time soon, so I decided to bring Tuscan food right through my own back door with a bottle of Extra Virgin Olive oil. Well, that was for starters anyway.
First of all, let me introduce you to one of my best culinary friends – Rosemary…
Before you think I’m crazy (that is, if you don’t already) let me explain. I know what you’re thinking… “That’s an impressive looking weed…”, and you’re right! It seriously is amazing. Behind these humble looking sticks covered with tough little leaves is one of the most superbly amazing flavors in the world!
If you don’t believe me, try it with roasted chicken, or in soup, or bread, or sausage, OR this new recipe…
Cutting an onion shouldn’t be something to shed tears over, but I’ve seen a few people demonstrate this act in a way that makes me want to cry. Learning this simple technique limits the time the onion juices have to start your eyes watering and, before you know it, it’s sizzling away in the pan a conquered enemy.
Start by cutting both ends of the onion off. Run it under very cold water while you peel the skin away. Place on a cutting board with a cut side down and cut in half.
Place the new cut side flat on the board and slice around the onion in a fan, like so…
And that’s it. You’re done. This works just as well for mincing as it does chopping, it just takes a little more precision.
With that said, I leave you with my beautiful Boden colors and best wishes for a happy chopping experience.
Remember, don’t be afraid to try new foods, or mix new colors. Be bold. Enjoy life!