Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Bittman Again

I thought I was over my Bittman phase, but he's written one of his grand round-ups, and, get out the scissors, it's a clipper. 101 Simple Salads in today's dining section may blow your mind, or at least may relegate your current favorite standards to the back shelf in the fridge.

Here are a few, randomly considered:

#29 Cherries gently steeped in in olive oil and balsamic vinegar, then tossed with chopped radicchio or endive and toasted hazelnuts.

#48 Chopped dandelion greens with chopped preserved lemons, chickpeas, feta and olive oil. (I'm having that one tonight.)

# 82 Crisp pancetta and carmelized onions tossed with chopped bitter greens, toasted pine nuts and halved cherry tomatoes.

#76 Sliced fresh figs with crumbled bacon, balasamic vinegar and crumbled blue cheese. (If my fig tree produces this year, which it looks like it might, we'll be having this every night)

He even has a hot dog salad: #78 Sliced grilled dog with tomato wedges, chopped pickles hot peppers and shredded lettuce, dressed with a mustard vinaigrette.

I'm not so sure about the hot dog one, but #44 suggests making a grilled cheese, letting it cool and cutting it into croutons for use on any salad. "This," he says, "you will do forever." I believe him, and I have a grim vision of the rejected grilled cheeses I've let go to waste in recent months as my kids have alternately toyed with their appreciation for the grilled cheese.

There are countless salads in here that will find as they say in the dog world, forever homes with all of us. Good girls, come to mama. Thank you, Mark Bittman.

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