Happiness Salad

Sunshine Salad

Forgive the tweeness of the title. The intention wasn’t to be cute, it’s just that the way this salad looks is enough to inspire happiness on even the cloudiest of days. I like to eat this salad on its own, stuffed into a pita, or with the addition of chickpeas.

happiness salad:

1 navel orange, peeled and segmented with the juice reserved

1 shallot, sliced as thinly as possible

2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

2 golden beets, roasted whole with a light coating of olive oil for about an hour in a 400 degree oven and then sliced into thinnish half moon pieces

1 yellow sweet pepper, diced

4 cups of arugula

3 Tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp. honey

Freshly cracked pepper and kosher salt (Maldon would also be nice on this salad)

Several large leaves of basil cut in a fine chiffonade

1. In a small bowl combine the sliced shallot and orange juice leftover from the segmented orange with the apple cider vinegar. Allow to sit for at least 15 minutes.

2. On a large platter or in individual bowls arrange the arugula in a shallow layer before evenly distributing the beets, sweet pepper, and orange segments on top.

3. Add the honey, olive oil, pepper and salt to taste to the orange juice, apple cider vinegar and shallots; whisk until completely combined. Drizzle over the salad and top with the fresh basil.

And of course, something twee to go with the cuteness of the salad name.

The 6ths – As You Turn To Go


Spicy Tomato and Arugula Pasta

This pasta is my without hesitation answer to the question “If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?” I am fully aware of my proclivity to throw the word “favourite” around when describing food but this spicy tomato and arugula pasta really is my ultimate desert island favourite. The first time I tried pasta like this was in Seattle about 6 years ago and I pined and yearned for an exact replica in Ontario, only to find that by constantly fiddling with the recipe I created something that is in my opinion better than the original.  If you’re fortunate enough to have amazing in-season tomatoes that are sun warm and sweet please use them for this recipe, I guarantee they will be happiest nestled amongst the arugula, lemon, chillies, pasta and cheese. I think that the bite of Reggiano really compliments all of these flavours but Pecorino Romano or Pecorino Pepato would also be delicious and slightly creamier options for cheese. It seems the hotter the weather is the more I crave spicy foods and I tend to go overboard with the dried chillies (when I’m cooking for myself I don’t seem to notice just how spicy I make things), the recipe calls for 1/4 teaspoon but I usually will add in a full teaspoon if it’s just going to be me eating it. Ideally, consume outside in the golden evening light with a crisply cutting glass of Prosecco and a stack of new cookbooks from the library.

spicy tomato and arugula pasta:

(this serves anywhere from 3-5 people)

1 lb. of dry rotini pasta or other similar shape

1 Tbsp. of kosher salt

1 Tbsp. buttery olive oil

4 cloves of garlic, minced (add more to taste)

5 of the sweetest large tomatoes you can find, chopped roughly into medium-sized pieces

4 cups of washed and dried arugula

Zest and juice of 1/2 a lemon

1/4 cup of vegetable stock (or you can add a full 1/2 cup of pasta water and some bouillon concentrate)

1/4 cup of water reserved from the cooking pasta

1/4 tsp. dried chilli flakes (as a bare minimum, add as much as you’d like)

As much freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino Romano/Pepato as you’d like

Lots of freshly cracked pepper

Kosher or sea salt to taste (although if you have any Maldon salt this would be the time to use it)

1. Bring a large pot of water to boil for the pasta, adding the 1 Tbsp. of salt once the water has just begun boiling. Cook pasta according to package instructions.

2.While the pasta is cooking heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds before adding in the tomato pieces and continue cooking for another 2 minutes, stirring frequently.

3. Stir in the arugula, chilli flakes, lemon juice and zest. As soon as the arugula is wilted turn off the heat while waiting for the pasta to be done if it isn’t already. Add the hot pasta, stock and reserved cooking liquid, stirring to combine. Serve in shallow bowls with copious amounts of cheese, cracked pepper and a sprinkling of salt to taste.

I’ve been listening to Wild Nothing a lot lately and this song just shimmers, I think it’s absolutely beautiful. It sounds like the offspring of Deerhunter and Chapterhouse – the prettiest songs by either band, that is.

Wild Nothing – Vultures Like Lovers

What to do with Arugula and a Fried Egg

For lunch today I sat outside and ate this arugula salad made from some of the items I bought at the farmers market yesterday. I tossed together about 2 cups of washed and dried arugula, a sunny yellow tomato, half an avocado, pickled red onions, a glug of olive oil, cayenne pepper and a fried egg to top it off (the wonderful orange creaminess of the yolk pairs brilliantly with the assertiveness of the arugula.) Finish with coarse salt and freshly ground pepper for a really easy and beautiful midday meal for one. Afterwards have a bowl of strawberries and fiddle with the balcony garden for a half hour or so before embarking on a walk in the sunshine (at least that’s what I’m planning on doing.)

And continue with even more samba music.

Bebel Gilberto – Batucada