Apr 14 2005

A Real Good Salad

A real good salad

Micro-greens! I’m like a sylph in a Grecian urn store with this stuff. Yet, like any profound philosophical issue, the more I study micro-greens, the more questions arise. Some, such as “What if I dropped a bag of micro-arugula off a second-story balcony?” are surprisingly easy to answer. Others, such as “How long can I go on splurging on these absurd plants before the authorities take steps?” are more complex.

But the multifaceted problem that’s been keeping me awake nights is this: what if, just what if, I made a blood orange vinaigrette and stuck some tangerines and toasted sunflower seeds on there?

Finally, last night, I set out to prove my hypothesis: that the formula would yield total deliciousness.

The preliminaries to the field trials were threefold: I began by putting a fork and a salad plate in the fridge. I also started heating up a cast iron skillet. I also peeled a Golden Nugget Mandarin orange. I peeled away every bit of that white pith. This took about an hour; I’d have to make up for lost time in the dishwashing phase.

But what am I saying? Lives, it turned out, were not at stake. There was no lost time to make up for. This is because Time, when you’re a spinster aunt, detaches itself completely from reality. In fact, when you’re a spinster aunt, time doesn’t entirely run in a single direction. My dishes, for example, are often done before I get’em dirty. So maybe peeling the Golden Nugget Mandarin orange didn’t take an hour.

The experiment suffered a tragic setback when I tossed some raw sunflower seeds into the cast iron skillet. Unfortunately I had forgotten that the skillet had been on the fire since I started peeling the Golden Nugget Mandarin orange, and would by now be radiating the energy of a small supernova. The seeds were incinerated on contact.

I had to repeat this phase of the experiment.

Undaunted, and with my new bottle of Cuisine Perel Blood Orange Vinegar by my side (see Twisty’s Kondiment Korner), I formulated the vinaigrette. Sweat beaded on furrowed brow, I swirled the B.O. vinegar together with some Dijon mustard, salt, pepper, and a bunch of really good olive oil. Brisk wrist action ensured emulsion. Dipping an inquisitive index finger for a taste, I determined that the trial was back on track.

I feared to overly enlimpen the gossamer fronds, so I left my assortment of kohlrabi, mustard, and tatsoi sprouts unwashed, like my sister does with her toddler kid. I also deemed it prudent to wait until the last possible moment before dressing the greens. Furthermore, when applying the dressing, I adopted a conservative policy. Less is not more nearly so often as people would have you believe, except when it comes to salad dressing.

You can guess the rest. I unmolded a tower of freshly dressed greens onto the chilled plate, surrounded it with tangerine sections, and sprinkled with toasted sunflower seeds. The first bite was like seventy-four sunrises and sunsets compressed into a single event upon which the essence of the cosmos hinges utterly. It was a real good salad.


  1. Sunni

    So taken was I with your salad, that I went down to Central Market and purchased the B.O. vinegar and tried to replicate your experience.

    It turned out well, though I forgot the addition of dijon mustard (I was working from memory) – still, the mandarin oranges, the toasted sunflower seeds, the micro greens. Delicious. My husband commented that he felt like he was in a restaurant. :)

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. Twisty

    I’m so glad you liked it. If I have helped just one person on the path to micro-green enlightenment, it’s all been worthwhile!

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