I’m pleased to say that I’m on a roll with Mark Bittman’s “101 Simple Salads for the Season” and surprisingly ahead of my original plan. My twelve-page print out from the New York Times, as many of my other cookbooks, is beginning to look respectfully used. With four recipes completed in five days, and a fifth on the menu for tonight’s dinner, there are bits of this and that splashed on the sheets, paper edges are beginning to curl, and my notes are scrawled on the salads I’ve tried so far. Clearly, I love this project.
Since we’re clearly in the time of plenty with respect to ingredients, I seem to be following the recipes in the Vegan category primarily. My fridge is packed with fresh veggies all vying for my attention, so they’re getting it. Hence, my second salad, No. 13 which was to have been a red salad.
Clearly, I chose a different route. There will be red, however. Wait for it…
About this time last year, I was editing the nearly 800 photographs I took while on vacation in Italy and as much as I can say that I enjoyed reviewing our trip in front of my Mac, one photo in particular stood out. It was taken the first day we were in Rome from the kitchen window of the apartment we rented. We’d visited the farmer’s market in the Campo di Fiori directly after arriving because I swore I was going to cook on vacation. The market was near closing time so the vendors were busy packing up their product when we arrived rushing to gather the ingredients for our dinner. Of all the items still displayed, the tomatoes caught my eye. Red, plump, shiny tomatoes. I recognized their shape as something I’d only seen on the label of cans in select stores until that time. More elongated than a Roma, definitely thinner in the center, and a deep, deep red. I knew they were San Marzanos, so of course I had to buy some for our pasta that evening.