There is a moment in the afternoon when I know whether dinner is going to come together at an impressive level or whether it is all too much. Some days, I will have fifteen grand cuisine recipes before me, about to embark upon the Blushing dinner equivalent of the tasting menu of French Laundry, and somehow, actually come dangerously close to completing the endeavor (making reams of Hostess recipes that have to then somehow get to you). Other days, notably days when I have had lunch, and I am not feeling inspired to begin the four slog to dinner because I am not hungry enough, (in every sense of the word), I just don't get there. But I do make every effort to provide delicious, nutritious food even if it is simple.
It is on days like that, when the below happens (photo before exhausted plating effort ensues). While it is not haute cuisine and clearly a bit less gentrified, a bit more rustic it is still a good, healthy, delicious dinner for a family:
This is still Blushing genius. Don't let it fool you:
1. Semi-slow roasted tomatoes which a bunch of bloggers (Molly, Adam, Deb) at the moment seem to think is new and interesting. FYI: Oven to 250, tomatoes in half drizzled generously with good oil oil, salt, pepper, and roasted 2 hours. Finished with fresh basil. Now that I have told you thatm will you trade me for the third mystery of Fatima?
2. Garlic rubbed crostini.
3. A bowl of French olives: I like Nyons. Along side slivers of fresh mozzerella
4. A huge arugula salad with mushrooms, carrots, toasted walnuts, tiny slivers of apricot, and coated with a great blanket of shredded parmigianno reggiano.
If your salads at home are not great, here are two tips:
The leaves and other ingredients must be washed, thoroughly dried, and seasoned. I love that new Salad Seasoning grinder from Spice Depot, the addition of chives and garlic is really nice where I had once used only salt and pepper to season lettuce.
And, if you are using cheese, for Pete's sake, use good cheese. Every super market has it now: aged and imported in the specialty cheese bins. Step away from the green can of Kraft "cheese" ,you and that hombre have slaughtered your last salad.