Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Complexities of the Love Apple

On this wet and cold day, it is amazing to think just how fantastic the tomato is. It is a fruit. Although our legal system has deemed it a vegetable. Now comes word that this fruit's genome has been decoded.

  May 31,2012:
The tomato, whose genome has just now been decoded, turns out to be one well-endowed vegetable, possessing 31,760 genes. This rich legacy, possibly a reflection of the disaster that killed off the dinosaurs, is some 7,000 more than that of a person, and presents a complex puzzle to scientists who hope to understand its secrets.
The tomato has also been called everything from sweet to tart, and even meaty. Is it any wonder that this fruit has been mischaracterized by mere mortals?

Monday, May 7, 2012

Just Say No to Eating Animals: Vol. #40 Ripped from a Favorite Restaurant or Two

Most days I want something different to eat. I'm far from a creature of habit when it comes to eating. That said, I've gone on jags of eating the same thing since I learned to scramble eggs and fry bologna in a tiny cast iron skillet when I was seven. I think I ate that as an after school snack most days for a very, very long time. In fact it was such a long time that even the smell of veggie bologna now causes my stomach to lurch. 

Then there was that period of time my first year in law school when dinner was a bowl of buttered popcorn with freshly grated Parmesan. But for most of my life, I like variety in meals. Earlier this year something odd happened, and I couldn't stop eating at Athenian Room. At least once, I went twice in the same day to this little Greek-American restaurant that isn't far from home. It is very similar in appearance to the salad at Cross Rhodes in Evanston. On each visit this year, I ate the exact same thing. It's called a Vegetarian Salad. This salad has lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, olives, and a vinaigrette but the kicker is it comes topped with fries covered in the same vinaigrette. This is genius, pure and simple. In part it reminds me of my summer after college spent with my mum, my godmum,and my aunt in France. It was an exceptionally hot summer there and I lived off of green salad, pomme frites, and lemonade. So Saturday's lunch was my take on that remarkably simple offering.

  Opa Salad, the fries featured are from Cook's Illustrated's New Best Light Recipe Oven Fries

12 c. torn lettuce, I used Romaine
1/2 c. roasted tomatoes (raw is fine if they are at their seasonal best)
1/2 c. roasted red bell peppers (raw is fine if they are at the peak of their season)
1/4 c.  feta cheese crumbled

5 ¾ T water
¼ c. of EVOO
3T Champagne wine vinegar
2 t Dijon Mustard
Salt and Pepper to taste
Toss ingredients and then add 6 T. vinaigrette  to the salad and fries and serve