Wednesday, July 17, 2013


Yesterday, I stumbled upon this New York Times article about how hip chopped salads are, which of course meant that I needed a salad – chopped or not – immediately.

I Pinterest’d (is that a thing?) chopped salads. Most of them have beans and things. I only put beans in my salad when I want to be extra healthy and get that extra protein. But yesterday, I just wanted THE perfect salad …because I didn’t have any ingredients at home and knew that a special grocery trip would have to be made to acquire them, so why not get exactly what I wanted?

(this is what I wanted. sorry not sorry about the the phone shot. too busy eating)

After a lot of thought, I reverted to what I am now calling the Callie Standard Ingredients. Seriously, throw these things on a pizza, in a pasta, salad, wherever, I will eat them (all). They are, in order of importance:

canned artichoke hearts: CANNED. Not jarred/marinated. Unlike most Americans, my first exposure to the artichoke was NOT in a cream-heavy spinach/artichoke dip, and it was not the heart(s) alone. It was a whole, steamed artichoke that my grandmother made for me, which is still one of my favorite foods ever.

mushrooms: any kind. I do not discriminate here. I generally head toward button white, but last night we ended up with some crimini.

tomatoes: I’ll opt for sun-dried if I have them on hand or chop up whatever I have otherwise. I like roma & vine ripe just because they’re smaller and easier for me to work with. Last night I halved some of the best cherry tomatoes I’ve ever eaten.

black olives: Another food I adopted early. I used to “sneak” these off the counter while my mom was chopping veggies up for tacos or homemade pizza. Pretty sure she saw me do it every single time, and let me. Because hey, it’s an olive. I think I was at least 10 before I figured out that olives came in green.

Red onions get an honorary mention here, as do onions in general. I’ve never been a fan of them until recently when I realized every recipe I ever make calls for them, and it’s kind of boring to leave them out because they do have a really good FLAVOR. I’m just not a fan of the slimy white guys hanging out in the middle of stuff. But, recently, I have been using them. Usually the yellow ones. I really, honestly like caramelized onions now! But, I was feeling brave about it, so I slipped a handful of chopped red onion into this salad. I know. I know.

Anyway. Last night’s salad ended up being all of the ingredients above atop a romaine bed with some crumbled gorgonzola cheese, garlic croutons and pepper. Dressing? Store-bought. I know, I could have tried harder, but I was hungry! And we got Annie’s , which is a brand I love. Aaron and I devoured it, and Aaron has probably only ever eaten salad as an entre a handful of times since I’ve known him. Luckily, there’s just enough left for lunch today. Along with most of the rest of the onion and a couple handful of cherry tomatoes, which I might just snack on during our move this weekend. Yup. Crazy days. See you guys soon!

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