I've just got back from a week of travelling, and really needed to eat some serious vegetables. So I bought a basket full of different flavours and colours, lots and lots: I'm unaccustomed to choice, as normally the vegetables just arrive on a Tuesday morning, courtesy of the Riverford box scheme. Even better, I could please myself for the day, because the rest of the family don't get back from their travels until tomorrow.
And so for lunch, I made a salad of chicory and a blood orange, that fabulous winter reminder from Sicily that the sun will shine again. It was a favourite when I was a child, in the days before you could have everything you wanted when you wanted it: you couldn't get summer vegetables in the winter, because there was no air freight. So you ate what there was, and in the winter there was chicory, and the lovely treat of citrus fruit (which had come by ship from hotter parts of Europe or perhaps north Africa). Even so, it was a treat - everyday winter vegetables were cabbages and roots, the staples of northern European cookery.
Chicory and orange works well as a salad because of the contrast of the bitterness with the sweet orange - although it's fair to say that chicory is not as bitter as it once was (which gives me hope that my children might like it as much as I always have). I made the dressing with the juice which dripped profusely from the orange, mixed with black pepper and olive oil. Wonderful.
And this is my entry for weekend herb blogging, hosted this week by Kalyn, South Beach dieter extraordinaire.
Fading - This hydrangea - part of a recent birthday bouquet - dried by itself while I was away last week, but for anyone cutting the flowers with the aim of drying ...
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