Saturday, January 18, 2014

Beach house

Apologies for my unexplained absence - we disappeared to Jervis Bay for our annual beach holiday, and this year I did not take my computer, making for my first unplugged vacation in a frighteningly long time. I had hoped to put a post up before we left, but between frantically trying to finish up work projects and making sure that I packed enough (but not too much) in the way of kid, reading, and food supplies, I ran out of time.

I also hadn't factored my upcoming vacation into my plans for DIY January, so that sort of went out the window for a week or so. When you're trying to figure out how to work the tiny oven in a strange (and slightly mildewy) kitchen, you can't also start trying to make your own yogurt and expect to have an actual relaxing vacation. Or at least I can't, and I'm not ashamed to admit it. So I shamelessly ate supermarket potato chips and hummus and pickles. (I also brought along supplies to make homemade bread, waffles, popcorn, and salad dressing, so there was still a fair amount of DIY going on.)

And in the spirit of DIY January, I concocted a salad to bring to a friend's bbq on our last night of holiday - using up stuff we still had in the fridge and working around what we had run out of.

Beach house salad
I concocted this salad based around knowing that I had a fair amount of vegetables left in the fridge, but had run out of olive oil to make dressing. The rendered fat from the bacon cooked in the first step stands in for the olive oil.

1. Chop 2 pieces bacon into small pieces and put in a skillet over low-medium heat to cook.

2. Chop half a red onion into small pieces and add to skillet with bacon.

3. Once bacon and onions are more or less cooked, add 2-3 cups chopped greens (I used kale and a mystery green I bought at the greengrocer last week, and promptly forgot the name of. It was kind of spinach-esque) to the skillet to wilt. (At this stage, I also added about a quarter cup of white wine to deglaze the pan and keep the ingredients from sticking.)

4. Thinly slice 1 large carrot (I do this with a vegetable peeler) and add to skillet. (Keep the cores to nibble on while you finish the salad.) Toss with the other ingredients to wilt a bit, then remove the skillet from the heat.

5. Peel and chop a small cucumber, then chop a handful of grape tomatoes, and add to the skillet. Toss with the other ingredients until mixed thoroughly.

6. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and add a teaspoon or so of balsamic vinegar. (I also added a handful of shredded parmigiano reggiano.)

Serve warm or at room temperature. Serves 4+ as a side, or a large group (we had 10 in ours) as part of a bbq spread.


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