Arugula salad again? Well, yes. I had a large bag of it in my fridge, which needed to be used while still in prime condition. I also had some candied walnuts made by a local grower. That reminded me of a recipe from Food & Wine that combined arugula, pears, candied walnuts, and Maytag Cheese. This is a favorite of mine, and the Food & Wine staff where it was developed. All the contrasting flavors and textures worked together beautifully, from the sweet pears and walnuts to the salty cheese and bitter greens. It's flat out delicous. I served it with some leftovers black bean enchiladas, and it made the meal seem almost sophisticated.
Earlier in the day, I stopped by the grocery store and my post of several days ago, detailing my addiction to chips and Cheetos, was on my mind. One part of my mind kept urging me to get some Cheetos, while another part opposed the idea. Remembering that I've been eating high on the hog lately, I decided to forego Cheetos. Instead, I told myself to substitute something delicious and healthy, to wipe the image of orange fingers out of my mind. I wound up buying lovely blackberries and raspberries, to serve as counter programming. They were so far beyond Cheetos, I figured they would wipe any snack food urges out of my mind. That was my plan.
Did it work? Sort of. The mind knows what it wants, so I still had a Cheeto lust remnant in my brain. But, I didn't get salt bloat, or orange fingers. And I knew there were still plenty chips and Cheetos waiting for me at the store, ready to pounce when my resistance is low.
Arugula Salad With Maytag Cheese, Pears And Candied Walnuts
(Food & Wine, Staff Favorite)
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon minced shallot
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons walnut oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 bunches arugula, trimmed
1/2 cup candied walnuts (about 3 ounces)
1 medium Bartlett pear--halved, cored and thinly sliced
1/2 cup crumbled Maytag blue cheese
In a large bowl, combine the vinegar and shallot.Whisk in the olive and walnut oils and season with salt and pepper. Add the arugula, walnuts and pear slices, season with salt and pepper and toss well. Scatter the blue cheese on top and serve.