Mar 11, 2009

Jon Salad

Large bunch of fresh baby spinach
Fresh basil leaves (a whole handful, twenty or so)
Spring onion, cut into small segments
Other veg, nuts, raisins, sprouts, as available
Half a lemon squeezed (don' be shy)
Olive oil, salt, pepper

Close friends refer to the food I make as "Jon Food". I don't usually follow a recipe. I know the basic sauces and preparations, I have a strong instinct for what will go together, and I do a lot of improvising. I prefer food that is fast to prepare (fifteen to twenty minutes), packs a lot of flavor, and is healthy. I'm not afraid to use a bottled or canned ingredient (e.g. olive tapenade, pesto etc) to speed things up, but I read the ingredients of prepared foods carefully. My rule is, avoid products whose individual ingredients I can't imagine stocking in my kitchen, which rules out anything with e.g. corn syrup or artificial colors.

With no recipes, its hard to explain to people how to repeat what I make. But several people have asked about my salads. My salads tend to combine two main things: first, my friend Kaethe showed me that nothing beats fresh lemon and olive oil as a dressing. I rarely use any other dressing. Its simple, affordable, fast, and tastes great. The second thing is, mix a sweet green with a bitter green to cut the flavor. Basil and baby spinach can do this, but you can also use any lettuce with dandelion, endive, arugula, ... its that combination of sweet, bitter, salty, and sour (lemon) that is so great.

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