Monday morning I awoke, my eye-lids glued three-quarters of the way shut due to lack of sleep, due to last-minute photo editing/blog writing, due to my obsession of making sure last Monday's post was up first thing in the morning. My hand still grasping my phone from pressing snooze
one twenty-too-many times. I sat up, instantly remembering the dream I wish I didn't have to leave. My feet were so cold. I applauded myself for coincidentally placing my slippers at my bedside the night before. In one foot, in the other. Staring at the window, I dreaded walking over to it. "If there's snow, I'm not going to work. I'm just not doing it", I said to myself with justification.
I peered over at the window again, then back at my bed. "It needs me", I thought with even more justification. Then again back at the window. The fire-escape appeared to be free of snow. It gave me the push I needed to climb out of my warm sheets.
Eyes now halfway open, I found myself at the window sill looking down at a snow-less sidewalk, and even though cold air was sneaking through the crack in my window, I was filled with so much relief. "Thank you. Just, thank you." I said to the universe. "You really understand my feelings of not wanting to wear
ankle-weights snow boots ever again." (Well, at least until next winter.)
I know I touched on this in my last post, but I really cannot think about it/talk about it/shout it from the fire-escape enough. I've got a serious case of Spring fever, people. I need warmth and sun and cuffed jean jackets. The days where scarves cause my hair to become knotted and nappy at the back of my neck need to be long gone.
To speed up this transition of the seasons (at least in my mind,) I conjured up a simple salad with flavors that are illustrative of both. Grapefruit; winter's best, and fresh mint; a perfectly complementary spring herb, both combined with arugula, cucumber, toasted walnuts, and tossed in a citrus dressing consisting of grapefruit juice, lemon juice, freshly grated ginger, and extra virgin olive oil.
Again, it is simple. But it's refreshing and makes me think of brighter days, which I think we all could use a bit of. There isn't much of a recipe to it, but I will estimate the proportions I used. Feel free to adjust the amounts to your liking.
grapefruit, cucumber, and arugula salad with mint and citrus dressing
2 small grapefruits, one large may do
half of a cucumber
a couple of handfuls of baby arugula
about 1/4 cup of toasted, chopped walnuts
about 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh mint leaves
4 or 5 whole mint leaves for dressing [see note]
a little over 1/4 cup of grapefruit juice
the juice of half a lemon
1/2 teaspoon of freshly grated ginger
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
generous pinch of course sea salt
pinch of freshly ground black pepper
note: you can strain out the whole mint leaves using a mesh seive if you prefer. I sort-of muddled the leaves with the dressing while whisking to release the oils, let it sit for 15 minutes or so, whisked again, then poured over, keeping the leaves in with it. Ideally, the dressing should sit longer, maybe an hour, but since I was in a hurry, I shortened the time and left the leaves in to make up for it.
Segment the grapefruits over a large bowl to catch all of the juice that will be used in the dressing and set aside the segments. Squeeze what is left of the grapefruits after segmenting to get as much juice out as possible. Chop the mint and thinly slice up your cucumber. Roughly chop the walnuts, toast them on the stove or in a toaster oven for just a couple of minutes, careful not to burn them. Arrange salad by combining grapefruit, cucumber, chopped mint, arugula, and walnuts.
In a small bowl, combine the left-over grapefruit juice, lemon juice, olive oil, grated ginger, whole mint leaves, course sea salt, and black pepper. Whisk well to combine. Let sit for 15 minutes or longer depending on how much time you have. Strain mint leaves or keep in. Toss with salad and serve.
While you contemplate if you're going to make this salad now or well, now, I'll be here.. thinking about farmer's markets and fresh flowers.. and how many I'll need to fill my blue vintage mason jars I scored at an apartment sale two weeks ago. But more about those, and the other lovely find I bought, in a post to come.