Saturday, May 22, 2010
Spring to Life & Strawberry-Spinach Salad (with Honey Vinaigrette)
Warm, sunny days are observed as something of a holiday here in New England. The ground swells, trees burst, life is blooming; The sky is a symphony of song, the air thick with redolence.
The ostensible death of winter pulses beneath the surface of April breathing life into spring--once again. May, June, Rejoice! Breathing life into me…
Yesterday, while walking to the fruit and vegetable store near my house, I was struck by the beauty around me. I don’t mean that in the abstract, poetic sense. I mean, in the most real and basic way, it always strikes me amazing that the nature of anything born or grown is to go on living until that is the last thing to be done. I’ve always found it ironic that, our very first and our very last instinct are the same, to breathe.
After falling into a deep depression some years back--what my doctor described as “P.T.S.D. induced,” The hardest thing I’ve ever done, was having to learn to match my will with my instinct to go on living.
During this battle I came across a passage from “Hamlet” which reads:
‘There is a special providence in the fall of a sparrow. If it be now, ’t is not to come; if it be not to come, it will be now; if it be not now, yet it will come: the readiness is all. Since no man has aught of what he leaves, what is ’t to leave betimes? Let be.’
“…The readiness is all.” It was that line in particular, which read more like a question than a statement, that prompted me to answer “Undoubtedly Yes!” And do for my droning on existence what my instincts had been doing for me…Tap into the pulse beneath the surface of my April and breathe spring into life until that is the last thing to be done.
I fear it will not hold as much significance if I keep saying so, but this was absolutely delicious, Both the salad and dressing; So much so that I had it for dinner last night and breakfast this morning.
Spinach and Strawberry Salad
Bunch of baby spinach, washed and dried
Small handful of strawberries, rinsed, dried and diced
2 teaspoons red onion or shallot, finely chopped
1 tablespoon walnuts or blanched, slivered almonds, lightly pan toasted (about 1 minute)
1 tablespoon shredded parmesan cheese (optional)
Combine spinach, strawberries, onion, nuts and cheese in a large bowl. Eat immediately or refrigerate for 15-20 minutes before serving.
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup red wine or distilled white vinegar (I used the latter)
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon red onion or shallot, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 fresh ground black pepper
In medium bowl, whisk together vinegar, honey and mustard. While continuing to whisk gently, add in oil slowly. Add in onion, whisk again. Repeat after adding salt and pepper. Whisk again gently just before serving over salad.