Way back in the beginning of time I was a waitress.
We lived in a small town in Wisconsin that had a rather well-known restaurant. It was kind of a cross between a diner and a fine-dining restaurant…. Oddly typical of restaurants in the Midwest at the time.
Anyway…. standard first course was a Garden Salad, with a choice of the usual dressings of French, Thousand Island, Italian, Ranch or Blue Cheese.
Occasionally, someone would order ‘oil and vinegar’.
We had it, of course, but I (and the other waitresses) always thought it a bit odd when there were better alternatives (in our opinion).
Fast forward a decade or two or three and I’m living in Andorra. There was no French, Thousand Island, Italian, Ranch or Blue Cheese. There was only oil and vinegar.
But it was good Spanish olive oil and good sherry or Balsamic vinegar.
Sometimes (often) simple is still the best…..
Beef and Zucchini Salad
Total time: 30 minutes
- 8oz (240gr) ground beef
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1/2 yellow pepper, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic. minced
- 1 medium green or yellow summer squash, quartered the long way, then sliced
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 2 tbs capers
- 1/3 cup green olives, sliced into thirds
- 2 medium ripe tomatoes, cut into wedges
- handful fresh oregano leaves
- 1/2 cup (2oz, 60gr) shredded cheese – your choice
- Lettuce – enough for 2 main meal salads
- 2 – 4 tbs Balsamic vinegar
- 2 – 4 tbs salad olive oil
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add chili powder, paprika, cumin and sauté briefly (20 seconds).
- Add onion, pepper and sauté for 5 minutes.
- Add garlic, beef and continue cooking, breaking beef up as it browns.
- When beef is partially cooked add squash and sauté 5 minutes longer.
- Remove from heat; add capers and olives.
- Tear the lettuce and arrange on plates.
- Divide beef, vegetables and arrange on the lettuce.
- Drizzle each plate with 1 tbs each vinegar and oil
- Top with tomato wedges and shredded cheese.
- Serve with more vinegar and oil on the side.
We rarely get snow.
If we have white on the ground it’s usually flowers, in this case from the two catalpa trees in front of our house.
The flowers have been falling steadily recently.
They’re in clusters on the tree, but quite pretty individually.
And so much nicer than snow.