Being a blogger, I get emails every day pitching something or other. Most of the them are lame, from a PR person who has never read my blog and has no idea what I’m all about. They mostly get a quick “delete” from me. The only ones that have any hope of being read are the ones that have recipes. I love recipes. A few months ago I was sent a pitch about a recipe by Ellie Krieger for the Saturday Evening Post. Whatevs. But the recipe sounded kind of good. So I kept it tucked in my inbox.
The ingredients are simple, mostly shelf stable and the salad, as a whole, is entirely uncomplicated. That is my kind of meal. While her recipe calls for raddichio and endive (which I sometimes do for company) I generally just stick with the bagged arugula. You guys, I love arugula. And it comes in a bag, ready to go, no extra prep. If I am going to eat something healthy for lunch, it has to be easy.
I am not a fan of beans. Most of them are pretty grody if you ask me. So I was pleasantly surprised that I love cannellini beans. They have a really mild flavor and are creamy tasting.
Oh hey, there is my son. Some days he just REALLY wants to be in my photos. Today was one of those days.
The trick to this super simple dressing is good quality ingredients. I remembered this olive oil from when we had the private chef cook for us in Palm Springs. She dressed a simple salad for my kids with this and a little lemon juice and I remember it tasting so fresh and almost buttery.
Similarly, a good balsamic is sweet and rich without being too tart and well, vinegar-y. A quick shake up of the oil and vinegar and you have the most amazing dressing. Ever!
Finish off the salad with some good parmesan (are you seeing a theme here? With a salad this simple your ingredients need to be good stuff. I’m not talking super expensive. I have a grocery budget and I can’t afford the top shelf stuff. What I mean by “good stuff” is not the pre-shredded parmesan in a bag. Even buying a brick of it from your store’s cheese shop can be good enough. And check the ingredients for the balsamic. They should be balsamic vinegar and not say “grape mist”).
My son is a VERY picky eater. And he LOVES this salad. I think it has everything to do with the balsamic being so sweet and the fact that he is a fiend for parmesan. The first time he tried it, he tried to manuever around the beans. I don’t blame him. But now he eats all of it. Once he started this, I got him to eat other types of salads too. So thank you Ellie Krieger.
And if I am being honest, I eat a crap load of it out of a huge bowl. It is THAT good. And it is a salad so it is totally healthy, right? I think this would be a great salad for company. And I eat it for a main course but it would work just as well as a side. Seriously, do it. Well played, Ellie Krieger’s PR company, well played.