Sunday, September 28, 2008

Israeli dressing

The sky was pink and blue and falling into night across the Hudson Valley and we were waiting for fireworks. Monica is dressed in white, like a Sikh, a wise woman, and children dart to and fro in giddy anticipation. "It's Israeli dressing" she says to me when I ask her what, exactly makes her tomatoes and mozarella so good. I must have looked blank. "Yes, you know, lemon, salt & olive oil." At that precise moment, my culinary life changed, a light bulb exploded in my head, it was the tipping point of my life as a salad maker. This morning, as I wash up after last night's dinner party, and pick up the wilted leaves of frisee from yesterday's salad and put them in my my mouth, and wonder what more delicious taste there could be at seven o'clock on a Sunday morning, I must give due thanks to Monica, who has changed my life by uttering the words "Israeli dressing" in such a way that I could hear it. The profound impact of oil, lemon and salt could not be more gratefully absorbed. Monica, o wise one, I am humbled.

Last Night's Salad This Morning:
1 bag washed frisee lettuce
2 purple endive
1 handful chopped cilantro
1/4 sweet onion, thinly sliced
zest of 1 lemon, chopped

1 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp good olive oil
generous sprinkling of salt
(shake -- don't stir -- these last three ingredients together in a jelly (jam) jar)

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