Sunday, July 02, 2006

Gastropod 5

This post is for those of you, who like myself, are unduly influenced by advertising. Now in the case of the suspicions raised about abandoned bags, engendered by the swathe of anti-terrorism commercials, I suggest that we all snap out of it. Pick up your backpacks and move along. In the case of those who dreams are haunted by the vegetable-faced person imploring us to eat 2 ½ cups of vegetables per day, however... Well, there might be some merit in that message.

This post is for those of you, who like myself, can’t get Ms Watermelon Head’s parsnip nose to stop butting in. I find that she is especially annoying after a day when one’s eating habits have gone hopelessly awry, when one has been distracted by the Internets from eating before midday, at which point only coffee and an iced jammy scroll will do to prevent the very real threat of passing out. On day’s like those, the challenge, upon arriving home of an evening, is how to go about consuming all of the recommended daily dose of vegetables in one sitting.

Here are some suggestions for a salad plate to put Ms Mushroom Ears back in her place—the vege. crisper drawer of your fridge, if you didn’t know, but anywhere cold and dark will do:

Tomato Salad
Slice up some tomatoes, then splash with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper.
Hoo Boy! Do I give you hard recipes or what? Please, don’t hesitate to email me if you need further guidance on that one. I can honestly say this one was included for aesthetic purposes only—the whole colour scheme of the plate would not have worked otherwise.

Zucchini Salad
Drop whole zucchinis into just boiling salted water. Poach for a few minutes, until just tender, then slice them on the diagonal. Splash over olive oil, salt and pepper, while still warm.
It’s a good idea if the olive oil you’re using is this lovely grassy green colour:

Potato Salad
Cook 900g of potatoes in their jackets. Peel them when they’re cool enough, or if you’ve got asbestos hands you can start straight away. Add 2 tablespoons of chives or spring onion, some parsley, salt and pepper. While it’s still warm, toss the potatoes in 125ml of French dressing (olive oil, white vinegar, Dijon mustard, garlic, and seasoning). Let the potatoes cool, then add 125ml of mayonnaise.
If it isn’t obvious from the picture above, I followed this recipe very loosely. I didn’t have any chives, spring onions or parsley. Nor could I be bothered, at the time, to make French dressing or home-made mayonnaise—Ms Corn Teeth was breathing down my neck. I just mixed some lemon juice and a clove of garlic into my Heinz Salad Cream. I have made it properly before, and it is worth the effort.

This recipe and all the others suggested here are from Darina Allen’s Ballymaloe Cookery Course.

Mushroom and Caramelised Onion Salad

Slice two onions and cook them in olive oil over a low heat until slightly caramelised. That should take about 20mins. Slice 350g of mushrooms and sauté in butter. Add salt, pepper, a squeeze of lemon and a small amount of crushed garlic. Add the cooked onion. Serve at room temperature.
Egg Mayonnaise

Again, I didn’t have all the ingredients for this one. The absence of lettuce probably disqualifies it for inclusion amongst a list of salads, but even Ms. Roma Tomato Cheeks would concede that protein is an essential nutritional element.

Cut some hard boiled eggs in half, lengthways. Scoop out the yolk and mash it up mayonnaise, chopped kalamata olives—mine were of the chilli variety—salt, pepper and chervil or parsley. Place spoonfuls of the yolk mixture back into the egg whites. Serve on a bed of lettuce.
I do hope that after you’ve prepared these delicious salads, Ms Lettuce Hair will leave you be. I have personally bought enough garlic to ward her off, just in case she insists on continuing to bother me.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. No-one would buy this much garlic for consumption only by themselves, would they?

1 comment:

dogpossum said...

I know you, missy - that looks like far less garlic than you'd eat on your own. And I LIKE IT.

...I get the veggie guilts too. I mean, we eat a lot of vegetables at our house, but still. It's vegie guilt.