Every other Wednesday I receive my produce box from Farm Fresh to YOU, and it is always fun to see what I will be eating in the coming week.
Since I have the box delivered to my office I decided to leave a good portion of the produce in the fridge there so that I can make myself a wonderful salad for lunch. I like bringing my lunch to work in the summer when the weather is a little bit better to eat outside. Of course, with our San Francisco summers dining al fresco is a lot like dining in the middle of a fogbank. Bring a coat!
Fortunately we have had a brief respite from cold weather this week and despite the fog hovering over the Bay it was a nice day to eat at one of my favorite sunny spots in FiDi.
Today’s produce box is the epitome of summer:
- baby bok choy
- baby carrots, with their leafy tops
- ruby beets with their greens, perfect for sauteeing
- beef steak tomatoes
- Gypsy peppers
- A giant green fleshed yellow skinned melon
- pastured eggs
What a feast, right?
Our firm just finished a consulting project involving prepared foods so we kept the best selection of salad dressings for staff use. I picked out an organic balsamic vinegar and olive oil dressing for my lunch. I also brought from home a log of herbed goat cheese and some leftover stale bread, cut into impromptu croutons.
I think the secret to a good salad is the ratio of toppings to lettuce. In my mind that ratio is 70:30 – so my salad had a small base of about 5 leaves of romaine and the remaining 70% of the bowl was filled with the good stuff. An entire tomato, a third of a cucumber, a Gypsy pepper, three radishes, two young carrots, the bread and a good chunk of the goat cheese all went into my bowl.
Now here’s a secret of mine: when I bring a salad from home I put the good stuff on the bottom of the container along with the goat cheese. The tomatoes get squishy and mix with the cheese to almost make a creamy dressing of their own. The lettuce stays on top and keeps crisp, you can put your croutons and nuts in a separate baggie and the dressing in a small jar for application at the time of dining.
The advantage to keeping your salad ingredients at work is that you don’t have to lug a huge bowl in your tote bag and who really has time in the morning to chop and mix up all of the fun things for a nice salad anyway? I just prepared everything up in the work kitchen and ran out the door to find some sunshine amist all the fog blowing around.
After walking a few blocks the salad basically tosses itself but all the toppings fall to the bottom, requiring one to eat the lettuce first. After the top layer is gone, behold, fun city:
The tomatoes, cucumbers, all the other veggies, the bread and the goat cheese with the balsamic dressing made almost a panzanella or Italian bread salad. So delicious!
It wouldn’t be San Francisco if something unusual didn’t happen downtown and today was no exception. In the plaza where I lunched there was a large group of revelers celebrating the summer solstice.
Oh hippies… Don’t you love it? The Summer of Love might be back!
Hope you enjoy your summer produce and bring or make a salad at work!