My dear friend Sarah Kate came over for dinner the other night. She and I work together in the kitchen at the Occidental Arts & Ecology Center and she is also the co-owner of The Great Kosmic Kitchen, an amazing site that beautifully mixes food, herbalism, and sacred ritual for your daily routine. As I'm coming up on my one year anniversary living here in West Sonoma County, it feels so amazing to have found wonderful people like Sarah Kate to share in our passions, be silly, and nerd out on Ayurveda, cooking, fashion and foraging. It definitely took a minute to find my people up here, and in this chapter it feels really grounding and nourishing to continue cultivating that community.
Sarah Kate and I love to use whatever local produce we can procure in West County to make delicious meals together. But sometimes, all we really want to do is chill, laugh, drink wine and not do anything too fussy, especially on weeks where we are cooking a lot for work. In my old life as a corporate worker bee in NYC, I would come home many nights so exhausted that spending hours in the kitchen on dinner would be the last thing on my mind. But as I continue along this culinary path & self-care journey, I'm learning some key tips to cut down on time in the kitchen and some quick go-to's when I'm feeling super lazy.
I call this my kitchen sink salad because the ingredients vary depending on the season and what I have around. And in order to get your intuitive culinary juices flowing, I want to give you the basic guidelines behind making a delicious salad and dressing for yourself at home based on whatever is calling you!
for the salad:
*green i.e. arugula, butter lettuce, romaine, kale
*fruit i.e. orange, apple, grapefruit
*veg i.e. shaved raw beet, sliced summer squash, radishes
*toasted nut i.e. walnut, pepita, pistachio, almond
*protein (optional) i.e. organic turkey breast, fish, smoked salmon
for the dressing:
*vinegar i.e. apple cider, balsamic, red wine, or rice vinegar
(ratio of oil to vinegar for my dressings is around 2:1)
*spoonful of sweetness i.e. honey, maple syrup, or organic cane sugar
*squeeze of citrus either from lemon, lime or juice from the fruit you segment for your salad
*binder for the dressing to emulsify the oil and vinegar - you can use a spoonful or honey, dijon mustard, tahini, or all 3!
*pinch of salt
*splash of water
*Salad Dressing Tip*
Most recipes ask you to whisk the dressing in a metal bowl or use a blender to emulsify, but here's a trick I learned from one of my chefo friends at Revival - Add all ingredients into a Ball Jar or any container with a tightly sealed lid and shake away! It works pretty darn well when you're in a pinch and need to get staff meal out in minutes.
To make the salad pictured above, here's what you need:
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin cold pressed organic olive oil
squeeze of grapefruit
squeeze of lemon
pinch of salt
splash of water
1 bin organic arugula
1 grapefruit, supremed and cut into segments
1 organic red beet, peeled and grated
1 avocado large diced
3 slices organic turkey breast cut into bite sized pieces
1/2 cup toasted walnuts
Add all ingredients for the dressing into a ball jar, seal tightly, and shake to emulsify.
Add arugula, half of the avocado, half of the walnuts, and half of the turkey breast together into a medium mixing bowl. Add most of the dressing to the bowl and toss to coat.
Place salad mix into your serving bowl and use the shaved beets, grapefruit, and the remaining avocado, turkey, and nuts to beautifully garnish the top (this way you still get a mix of garnish and ingredients incorporated into the salad). Drizzle top of the salad with the remaining dressing and top with fresh ground black pepper and a pinch of maldon salt for good measure.
Enjoy salad with a beautiful bottle of biodynamic red wine and a Sarah Kate :)