As you all know, I’m trying to be all about salad this year. Tryin’ real hard, in fact.
Since this week has been very stressful (finals and all that), I decided that after presenting my project at school, I would come home and make myself a nice lunch before starting to study again. At the grocery store I snagged a couple of eggplants on quick sale and thought a Thai roasted eggplant salad would be just the ticket.
So, so, wrong. It was awful. It was a horrendous pureed texture, the flavors just did not work together, and it smelled and tasted like Henry’s post-catfood breath. Not a good smell, and definitely not a good taste.
Being the “calm under fire” type of person who reacts especially well when stressed, I promptly threw it out and sat down to study. And then I thought about all the food I wasted. And how much time I lost from studying. And how the house still smelled like old salmon left out to ripen on a hot sunny day (darn you, Thai fish sauce). And then I cried.
Turns out I’m not really the “calm under fire” type. More the “cry under fire” type. So I let it out for about 30 seconds and then gave myself a (figurative) slap across the face.
Gotta get it together! There’s always still time to have a good day (and a good lunch). One emergency phone call to Fritz (only a little teary), and a lovely tub of gorgonzola cheese arrived home only a few minutes later.
Sometimes you just need some cheese.
Pear and Gorgonzola Spinach Salad
- 4 C baby spinach (or a few handfuls…which is how I actually measured)
- 1/4 C raisins
- 1 ripe Anjou pear (any would work, I’m sure!), cored and diced
- 1/4 C gorgonzola cheese
- 1-2 T balsamic vinaigrette per serving (I used Newman’s Own, light)
First important step: attempt to cheer yourself up by making your salad in the gorgeous wooden bowl given to you by your parents, passed down from your great-aunt.
Incidentally, the fabric under the bowl is also from my great-aunt.
Toss in the spinach.
I must have felt better by this point, because I took the time to do a little photography experiment. Because it was so dark and rainy outside, and it was already past five, it was really dim in the kitchen and difficult to get a good shot so–I broke out the tripod! I’ve been using it for some occasions like these where I want a clearer shot. Can you tell the difference? Other than the tripod, I took them at exactly the same settings, distance, etc. I love how much clearer the spinach is in the entire bowl in the top picture.
Anyway, add in the raisins:
The pear (which was so perfectly ripe, I couldn’t stand it):
And, of course, the cheese:
No one will judge you if you add in a little extra. Give the salad a toss, and then admire. Further cheer yourself up by using your favorite serving spoon, given to you as a wedding gift by Fritz’s aunt.
Serve the salad and drizzle the dressing over the top. You could add the dressing in now, but I didn’t want to have dressing already involved in case there were leftovers. Which there were (it made about three main dishes and probably six side salads).
So delicious. I call salads that I like “restaurant quality” and this one definitely fits the bill. I threw some leftover ham in Fritz’s salad (that man-protein complex) and he ate the giant salad in about four minutes. Impressive.
This actually reminded me a little of a salad my high school boyfriend’s mom used to make, except I think her recipe used craisins, apples, and walnuts with a raspberry vinaigrette. I loved that salad a lot, too–maybe that’ll be my next one, since I have some cheese leftover. Any other gorgonzola cheese-involved salads that I need to try?