How to empty your fridge in one easy step…the summer chopped salad
I am moving house this week, something I haven’t done in about a dozen years and have never done with 3 kids and five pets.
I somehow thought that since I was only moving a quarter mile from my house, it wouldn’t be that big a deal. Ha!
A week before moving day, the girls inventoried the fridge and freezer so we could eat our way through it before moving day. Waste not, want not. They even came up with a tentative seven-day meal plan. Yes, there were some interesting combinations (and a lot of duck fat), to be sure, but it got the job done. But in the end, it came down to the inevitable – my father’s very chopped salad.
In honor of my dad, who passed away earlier this year, I am reposting this blog I wrote several years ago about his knack for cleaning out the fridge with an “everything but the kitchen sink salad”. Useful information whether you are moving cross-country, going on vacation, or just need to declutter your KitchenAid.
“My very French father is the master of the very chopped salad. It is the one American dish this passionate French gastronome has embraced after 50 years of living stateside. He loves the pele mele nature of it: open the fridge, pull out anything that’s fresh and can be minced (including last night’s leftover ahi tuna or roast chicken or lamb roast) and start chopping. Don’t stop until you’ve got a cramp in your arm or Maman’s storied green salad bowl (a wedding gift) can’t possibly take one more sprout or cucumber square.
These salads have always screamed “California” to me. When I pine for home they are a huge part of what I miss. But this week it struck me that there is no reason not to make these California-style salads back home during market season. At the Chappaqua Farmer’s Market you will find everything you’d find in one of my dad’s chopped salads- save for the avocado: fresh tuna, shrimp, chicken breasts, sprouts, peppers, fennel, golden and red beets, olives, hard-boiled eggs, scallions, peaches etc. etc. There is no recipe for my father’s “stream of consciousness” salads. They just happen while my mother is showing us their herb garden or we’re out talking to a neighbor.
He always presents them with a bit of flourish. My girls love ferreting out the ingredients one by one. The average ingredient count is about 14. I hope you will get inspired at the market tomorrow to make a Papie salad. You can clear out your fridge and let a little California into your kitchen.”
Continue reading July 24, 2015