Reading. I can’t imagine a life without it. Books, magazines, anything.
I’m one of those people who always has a least 3 books and several magazines on the go. A good book (the kind that might have won an award), a trashy book (the kind you could accidentally drop in the tub) and a work type of book (the kind that needs a highlighter). I especially love reading food magazines. You know, the kind of magazine you read “just for the articles”. Food porn so to speak. I’ve been struggling with my writing lately. But reading? I seem to be doing just fine.
Last week I walked into the kitchen to plan dinner. I had just been reading some of the great book by Dianne Jacobs Will Write for Food and contemplating how to describe food with different metaphors and similes. Coincidentally I happened to be eating some candied ginger (this is connected, trust me). I opened the fridge. Wow. What a random bunch of ingredients. As I perused the available produce I recalled a salad I had tried and discarded. A few months ago I had discovered a recipe in one of my many piles of magazines for a celery and fennel salad dressed with just olive oil and salt (my apologies that I absolutely can not seem to find the article so am unable to give credit). We had tried it and thought average. Not good, not bad, just there. Light and refreshing, but no zing. Suddenly however I had all of these creative juices swimming around in my brain (and ginger zinging around my mouth) and thought I can make this better. The result was a celery, fennel and radish salad with a candied ginger and meyer lemon dressing. It’s still a work in progress, but I think it’s pretty good. Better at least than my similes and metaphors.
The lightness of it makes it work well as an accompaniment to a heavier meal. But, I think it works best as something to build a lunch around. Add chickpeas, quinoa or white beans and toss it in a container for work. Saute some fresh shrimp with some ginger and lemon, add it to the salad and serve over some spinach or arugula. Or try mixing it in with some tuna salad served in a pita or wrap.
While I go work on my writing please enjoy. Happy reading.
- 6 stalks celery
- 1/2 bulb fennel
- 5-10 radishes
For the dressing:
- 2 meyer lemons (regular lemons will work too)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 5 small pieces of candied ginger, finely chopped
- 1/4tsp dried ginger
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Chop celery and fennel into, relatively uniform, bite size pieces. Slice or chop the radishes. Place all vegetables in a bowl.
To make the dressing squeeze the juice of the lemons into a jar (I like mason jars). Add the remaining ingredients. Put a lid on it and shake.
Combine dressing with vegetables. This salad is ideal if the flavours can meld at least for a few hours.