Friday, May 23, 2008

Home for salad

Fusili with anchovies; green salad


IF YOU HAD TO ASK ME what my favorite vegetable is, I suppose I'd have to say "lettuce," that is, if "lettuce" qualifies as a single vegetable. And this is something of a surprise to me: I hadn't thought about it until tonight. I would have thought it would have been asparagus, or artichokes, or fava beans: the triumvirate that says Spring. Or it might have been leeks, or fine young carrots. Onions, of course. Certainly not corn: even at its best it's just too incidental.

We're home, and while we've eaten well on the road this last week, and God knows had our share of salads, the thing I looked forward to the most was my own little lettuce patch -- oakleaf and frisée, mâche and arugula. It had thrived nicely; the rabbits hadn't found it (probably the big arugulas that had bolted hid it from them). They were tender and succulent.

I should probably have dressed them with nothing but salt and olive oil, but I'd missed my own vinegar, too. And garlic! When we're on the road we never get enough of it. So it got dressed the usual way, lots of garlic, good sea salt, decent olive oil, Eastside Zinfandel vinegar. A slice of bread to mop out the bowl. What a delicious dinner!

Barbera d'Alba "La Loggia" 2005

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