Thursday, March 3, 2011

Day five: Soup vs. Salad

While the lunch portion of the Master Plan has gone to hell in a hand basket, our dinners continue to plow through obstacles like illness and unexpected store closings and outages. Dinner on day four was a miracle meal prepared by Alex’s mom and brought to us in our den of sickness, so I’ve moved on to day five: Tonight’s meal was soup and salad.  One was a hit and one was a miss.
I don’t love soup. I guess I thought if I kept making it, I’d learn to like it, but it just isn’t working.  I like some soups—brothy ones with lots of goodies… this roasted carrot soup was not that. And I didn’t love this soup. Maybe if I hadn’t pureed the veggies, I’d have liked it more. Maybe I should have thinned it out a bit. Maybe it just wasn’t for me. Maybe my taste buds are busted because of my cold. Maybe I definitely need to stop telling people I don’t get sick.
The bright side of this meal was the salad: a frisee base loaded with furnishings. I set Muzgaash to a supposed 400 degrees and began making toppings: 
  1. Croutons. Cubed the leftover ciabatta, tossed it olive oil, salt and pepper, put it in the oven for ten to fifteen minutes.
  2. Bacon.  I waited for the croutons to be done so I could use the same baking sheet.  Bacon is clearly a personal matter. We like crispy, so our bacon needs about ten minutes per side.
  3. Walnuts. After removing the bacon to a draining platform, I tossed the walnuts in the bacon fat and put them into the oven to toast.
  4. Orange. While the hot items cooked, I supremed an orange, squeezing the leftover juice over the greens.
  5. Chevre. It never hurts to throw a couple ounces of goat cheese onto a salad, am I right?
I dressed the salad with a mustard-balsamic vinaigrette and we sat down to our feast. The strong, yet lacy, frisee was a great foundation for such a heavy onslaught of toppers—juicy oranges, toasted walnuts, fresh sponge-like croutons that soaked up the dressing, pungent cheese, and fantastic bacon. It felt delicate, with a great balance of flavors and textures. Really, really good. Sometimes, more is less. Sometimes, more is delicious.


  1. Love the salad photo! I hope y'all feel better soon. Did Alex like the soup? Goat cheese anything!

  2. Laura and I read this while waiting (and waiting) for our Giordano's deep dish to show up. Very impressive. And I think my erstwhile forks are quite photogenic.