Thursday, October 9, 2014


Ashland, Oregon, October 9, 2014—

WHEN IN DOUBT, most of us fall back on some consistent formula for dealing with hunger in unfamiliar settings. A  daughter recommends a beer and a chocolate bar, for example. Me, I gravitate toward salads. That strategy dates back to the earl 1950s, when I discovered that a "Greek Salad" — lettuces, feta, olives, tomatoes, cucumber — could make a filling and presumably nutritious meal at a manageable price. If "Greek" isn't available, I fall back on "Caesar."

 A true Caesar is a marvelous thing, probably one of the Hundred Plates. It involves, romaine, Parmesan cheese, anchovies, lemon, salt and pepper, and a raw egg. If  you want more details, the best recipe I know of is in The Zuni Cookbook by our friend the late Judy Rodgers: follow her instructions and you'll re-create the salad served in that fine San Francisco restaurant.

Off course you don't often get the real deal: hence the "ish" in today's title. Wee'd had a very quick snack at New Sammy's at lunchtime, just some flatbread with raita, tomatoes, tapenade I think, basil perhaps, mint certainly; also what seemed at the time something like carnitas. It was another wonderful Charlene Rollins mashup of textures and flavors, riotous and good: but I had to eat it so fast (in order to make a theater curtain) that I couldn't really enjoy it.

Shouuld have gone back, of course; for dinner: but decided to stay in town and settle for just a salad. As  you see in the photo, it's dressed with an anchovy mayonnaise of some kkind. There was only one anchovy fillet present, for the two halves of a split whole inner head of romaine, and there was certainly no raw egg. But there was a generous wedge of lemon, and a nice slice of toasted levain from the nearby Mix Sweet Shop, and I had a glass of decent Cowhorn Viognier 2012 with it (not as distinguished as the Macon blanc I'd had with the flatbread earlier — darn; why don't we simply always go back to the Cowboy?)

• Salame, 47 North Main Street, Ashland; 541-708-5881

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