My salad days,
When I was green in judgment: cold in blood . . .
Anthony & Cleopatra, Act 1, Scene V.
And in a sense these are the salad days — not that we’re inexperienced or at the peak of our powers, two ways in which that phrase is now understood — no, simply because it’s high summer, when edible green begins to tumble out of the bushel baskets at the market and it’s too hot to cook. Who better to discourse on salads than we here at a blog named Slaw?
Well, the New York Times, for one. A hundred and one, in fact. Last year, Mark Bittman did a Minimalist column in which he listed 101 salad recipes, organizing them into categories: vegan, vegetarian, seafood, meat, grain, noodles. . . . And here’s the beauty of it: each “recipe” is two or three lines long. All they do is suggest the basic ingredients, perhaps a particular chop or slice, and then the components for a suitable dressing. Nothing could be simpler. Let your eye fall down the page until it’s caught by something that appeals — or use your browser’s search function to find a recipe that treats what you’ve got on hand.
Here are a few to whet your appetite:
34. Grill quartered romaine hearts, radicchio and/or endive. Drizzle with olive oil and sherry vinegar, and add dill and chopped shallots. Teeny-tiny croutons are great on this.
66. In a hot pan, sear sea scallops for a minute or two on each side, depending on size. Slice or chop, then toss with thinly sliced fennel and lemon or orange vinaigrette and some chopped fennel fronds.
87. Cold not-sesame noodles: Combine about a half-cup peanut butter with a tablespoon soy sauce and enough coconut milk to make the mixture creamy (about a half cup), along with garlic and chili flakes in a blender or food processor. Toss sauce with cooked and cooled noodles, a load of mint, Thai basil, and/or cilantro, and lime juice. Shredded cucumber and carrots optional.