Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Sicilian Orange Salad with a Twist

We were all home for two weeks and-- when we weren't getting on each others' nerves--  it was very nice.  As my mother often said when she tried to get us all moving in the same direction: Ogni Testa e Tribunale.  Roughly translated:  Too many Chiefs, not enough Indians.  What can you do?  Family. Can't live with them...can't live without them.

We hung out mostly in and around our backa yarda and shared lots of laughs and food with other family, friends and neighbors.  We also discovered Torroncino, a new gelato.  Mannaggia. Between rounds of gardening, the Torroncino whispered to me and the hot sun whispered back.  A break is what you need right now.  And something icy cold.

We had Aunt Josie's chocolate cake when she came for dinner, Mr. BBQ's peach cobbler when family was here, and for neighbors:  a dish of Torroncino gelato topped with two tablespoons of freshly brewed espresso, two tablespoons of brandy, a chocolate biscotto and a few brandied cherries preserved by nonna last summer.  I've had more sugar these past two weeks than I've had since Christmas. We can't do this anymore. Sitting at my kitchen table this morning browsing through a cookbook, I came across this quote from a woman named Judith Viorst: "Strength is the capacity to break a chocolate bar into four pieces with your bare hands-- and then eat just one of the pieces."  Uh-huh.  Holidays and strength just don't go together.  But it's time to get back to the way we normally eat around here or someone is going to get sick.  I haven't had a Sicilian salad yet this summer and since I'm alone all day today for the first time in a very long time, I made one for lunch. 
Here's my recipe. Work in layers from bottom to top:
6 to 8 leaves,  Romaine lettuce
Two handfuls, sunflower sprouts
A handful of chopped red onion
A handful of cherry slices, walnuts and sunflower seeds
Top with slices of half a large orange 
Dress with a mix of olive oil, organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar, a little orange juice and organic sea salt

The Torroncino is all gone. I'm cooking lots of vegetables for dinner.

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