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Kale salad is more in keeping with the season, yes? For those sighing heavily at the suggestion of more kale, what if I imbue it with warm browned butter? You know, instead of the oil that you’d normally douse it with. Perhaps you already know the trick of massaging your raw kale leaves with olive oil, which loosens up the leaves a bit, mellowing them out and making them easier to eat. Drizzling them with warm, just-browned butter does the same – it tames the kale, dialing it down toward cooked, but still raw. It’s easier on the teeth, and to pile onto your fork. Which you’ll want to do.

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butternut salad 2

I’ve decided after close to an hour that I don’t have much to say about this salad, except that it’s tasty, and I’ll be making it again. My backyard greens have long since frozen solid, and I’m back to buying bins of the stuff, which mostly tend to sit in wait and go slimy in the fridge, not only because I’ve been away a lot but because I’m less inspired to eat a salad than usual. Comes with the snow, I guess – I’d rather be scooping up baked Brie with a crusty baguette. I came home today and turned the oven on to warm the house up, and decided that if I roasted some winter veggies, I would eat them. And after the past few weeks, I could do with filling up on veggies. Turns out a butternut squash makes as fab a salad as a roasted beet – had I had goat cheese, I would have used it, but big curls of sharpContinue reading

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I’m all about ginormous salads these days – ones with quinoa and barley and rice noodles and just loads of chopped up stuff – salads I can fill up on and pat myself on the back for having consumed a virtuous quantity of veggies. This particular salad was served at the very first back yard meal of the season, long before the floods, when it got chilly as the sun went down and we had to leave early because it was a school night. We were at a housewarming dinner at our friends‘ first home; this was set upon the picnic table alongside a chicken curry and stacks of mismatched plates, and all was devoured. When I made it myself at home it was far too much for us three – far better for a backyard get-together – and next time I’ll make sure I have salted peanuts or cashews to crush overtop, and perhaps some quickly cooked shrimp or leftover roasted chicken to addContinue reading

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I’m diving into salads, y’all. Everyone into the pool! I’m all carbed out. Well, not totally. But I’m finding toasted bagels with peanut butter and chunks of bread with butter and just one more muffin far too convenient and I need to remind myself that I do love a Big Salad. Unfortunately my brain somehow doesn’t go in that direction when I ponder what to eat, or what to make, or what to experiment with… it’s far more inclined to dip a caramel apple into bacon or stuff a burger with Babybel. (Wait for it…) I’m also programmed to think that salads don’t require a recipe – and most of the time they don’t, although being pointed in the right direction is a huge help. And some flavour and texture combinations just work, and there are so many I would never dream of tossing into a bowl together. This is one of those salads. Last weekend at my mom’s house, she made a salad withContinue reading

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I don’t think I’ve ever been as excited about a big bowl of greens. The hardy, wintery kind – a tub of spring mix just won’t cut it here. Nor would straight-up kale – I actually went to the store just to buy a couple handfuls of Brussels sprouts to add to the bowl – the biggest ones I could find, to make them easier to slice. They were more like mini cabbages. I needed something I could really chew on. It has been a food-heavy week; there have been restaurant openings, I got to emcee a fancy brunch at River Cafe and dinners at CharCut (where for the first course of our progressive dinner they served us one-pound wild boar and Chorizo meatballs smothered with bone marrow béchamel), Catch and Sky 360, and Geoff Rogers‘ new restaurant, Market. We went for ‘shroom pizza and ice cream, checked out Candela Lounge, and after all that I practically ran to Mango Shiva on Saturday morning whenContinue reading

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As I may have mentioned before, salads aren’t my forte. Although I know that virtually anything has the potential to become a salad, or at least an element of one, spread out or layered or tossed, I can’t shake the old lettuce-tomato-cucumber combo of my childhood. Juicy pink grapefruits -the best of the year- were 28 cents apiece last week, and so I bought four. To populate my fruit bowl, as it turned out. While I love eating them, I’m not a fan of fileting the things. In this case, extracting the segments released enough sweet-tart juice to make a vinaigrette, with a glug of olive oil, splash of rice or white wine vinegar, dab of grainy mustard and a pinch of sugar. I came across the salad of butter lettuce, pink grapefruit and avocado, three ingredients I just happened to have at the same time – at Not Without Salt. It pushed me out of my spring mix rut. The deep ruffles of smooth,Continue reading

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watermelon salad
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After a dismal Friday, it was a pretty good weekend. We bought a new (old) car. Or Mike did – a ’73 Charger. Far less practical than a minivan, and on a sunny day almost unbearably hot with its vinyl seats, lack of A/C (or cup holders, for that matter) and manual roll-down windows. But it turns out when you drive around in an old muscle car, people talk to, wave at, and take pictures of you. An added bonus I hadn’t thought of. We painted the front steps red. And I listened to this more often than I should probably admit, even when W wasn’t around. (My favourite line: “hey- you cookie showing and me hunger growing!“) Gwendolyn took me for an impromptu Sunday morning drive down the Cowboy Trail to the Chuckwagon Café in Turner Valley. Guys, these are truly the best burgers ever. If you’re looking for a fun way to spend an afternoon, or are peckish after a trip to theContinue reading

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Stampede scallop salad 1
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It’s too hot for words today, and besides, any words I do have must be reserved for actual paycheck-type work, assignments that come from editors and have deadlines and some days feel a little like homework. OK, a lot. Not that I’m complaining. If I didn’t have homework looming, I’d never get things like laundry and dusting done. Wait – I don’t. I came across this recipe in the Calgary Stampede Centennial Cookbook, which seemed fitting this week. It’s the sort of thing I’d most often flip by, but this time I decided to give it a go, and was glad I did. The seared scallops (I skipped the wasabi) were divine, and I’d never have thought to make a creamy dressing out of fresh peppery arugula and Key lime juice. I love an interesting salad, one that counts as dinner without feeling like “just a salad”, and this is one. Don’t you think Stampede should have an intermission? Maybe a day or two? IContinue reading

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