The night before a big day of travel, my S.S. and I gorged on a big beautiful margarita pizza. We ordered a salad to make up for it, with little intention of enjoying it.
While the pizza was tremendous, the salad stole the show. Big hunks of plum tomatoes were tossed with avocado and hearts of palm. The dressing was simple (lemon, olive oil, and maybe oregano?).
Fast-forward to life after vacation: I am still thinking about that salad. I need that salad. Here we go:
4 vine-ripe tomatoes, large dice
2 avocados, sliced or medium dice
artichoke hearts, halved or quartered (of course, my local grocery store doesn’t stock hearts of palm; this was a good substitute)
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
juice of 1 lemon
2 Tbsp olive oil
kosher salt and black pepper
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and gently toss. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Note: not great the next day (avocado browning isn’t as big of a problem as the avocado breaking down and muddling the flavors). Eat same day.
Thank you, Il Porto, for making our night–and for the inspiration!
Whenever I buy celery, I wind up using two measly stalks and find the bunch weeks later, somewhere in the dark part of the refrigerator, flavorless and pliable. My celery intentions always begin pure, but I usually screw them up along the way.
Not this time.
No, this time I was going to let this fibrous vegetable shine in a simple side dish of braised celery. Cut the celery on a bias to the desired length. In a deep pan, heat a bit of butter and sear the celery on both sides. Once browned, add stock (I used chicken) to just cover the vegetables. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cover. Braise until the celery is cooked to your liking (I like it pretty soft).
Remove the celery and reduce the stock to thicken. Season to taste with S & P and pour over the celery.
Warning: This is a healthy recipe. You may find it’ll cause you to feel good about the way you look, and, subsequently, you may end up removing your pants. Go with it.
One of my favorite veggies, Brussels sprouts are quirky, adorable, stinky and–gulp–healthy. They are surprisingly versatile, but for this preparation, I stuck to simple.
Steam the Brussels sprouts whole until tender. Saute over high heat in brown butter, adding thinly sliced garlic about halfway through. Once the garlic is golden brown and the outer leaves of the sprouts have blistered, season with S & P and be done with it.