Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Serious Salad



I like salad one of two ways. Completely unadorned, eaten without utensils and out of the bag, or loaded up into a meal in and of itself. Give me anything in between, like a wilting mesclun mix with a few mealy slices of apples, and I'll punch you in the face.

The above photo does not do justice to the spectacular meal-of-a-salad that I assembled last night. That's because I took the picture halfway through the process, and by the time it was done, it looked so good that I couldn't wait another 1/60th of a second.

In its finished state, the salad contained the following:

-mixed greens from our Shared Harvest winter CSA
(spinach, chicory, red leaf lettuce, radicchio)
-cubes of baked sweet potatoes leftover from a previous meal, warmed and well salted
-crisp bits of Vermont Smoke and Cure bacon
-roasted sunflower seeds
-balsamic vinegar, whisked into the bacon grease (I'm currently roasting blue potatoes in the rest of it)

I cannot tolerate that fact that this divine creation -- at once sweet, salty, crunchy, and mushy -- shares the same name as bowls of iceberg lettuce and shredded carrots.

This is how tenth generation vintners must feel about "Two Buck Chuck," or how other, more successful gods feel when they look on our god's creations. Because, when it can be so good, it's embarrassing by what humans deign to call "salad."

Then again, if we were made in god's image, bad salads are His or Her fault.

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