Weekday lunch at home is usually slow. There are just me and my 2-year old daughter, Sofia, to cook for. On rare moments, my husband joins us. My first-grader son stays in school the whole day and only comes back late in the afternoon. His lunch menu though, is posted in front of our fridge. He's in very good hands. He and his classmates have three course meals every day with perfectly balanced meals. It's the food pyramid to perfection chosen by the state's dieticians and nutritionists. Jamie Oliver would be delirious with joy! After watching his school cafeteria series, my child's school menu makes me one satisfied parent.
Sofia usually gets pasta, rice, meat or fish cooked the more conventional way, not to mention the dependence on extra virgin olive oil and parmigiano reggiano. Make sure you put them in her food in front of her because if not, she will demand for them.
My lunch is usually light or sometimes peculiar since I am the only one eating the dish. Nothing pungent though because my little lunch companion has the habit of abandoning her lunch midway when she smells something undesirable like spices and vinegar.
"Che puzza Mommy!" (It's smelly Mommy!) is what she told me before leaving her half-eaten food and me gaping at her back. I was cooking the Tomato and Chorizo Salad quickly and just doused the saucepan with vinegar that suddenly permeated the whole kitchen.
I found half a bunch of asparagus spears in the vegetable bin and I decided to grill them on the griddle. I found a bottle of sun-dried tomatoes that I preserved in oil sometime ago. Searching, searching, searching. My foraging yielded some squash seeds, parmigiano reggiano, mosto cotto and lemon. When I was finishing the salad, I glanced outside my kitchen window and saw the beautiful chive blossoms nodding with the wind. I pulled out the florets and sprinkled them on my salad. My lunch was served.
This did not exude a strong vinegary or spicy smell so I was able to enjoy lunch with my daughter with her extremely sensitive nose.
Spring Salad with Chive Blossoms & Squash Seeds
- 200 grams asparagus, weighed after hard parts have been taken away
- handful of sun-dried tomatoes
- chive blossoms, florets pulled from the flower, (leave 1 - 2 flowers whole for garnish)
- salted squash seeds, shelled
- 1/2 lemon, zest
- 1 teaspoon of lemon
- parmigiano reggiano, shaved
- salt & pepper
- 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- a few drops of mosto cotto or aged balsamic vinegar
- Grill the asparagus on a griddle until they color.
- Chop the asparagus and the sun-dried tomatoes to uniform bite sizes.
- Put them in a bowl. Add the lemon zest, squash seeds, chive florets and parmigiano reggiano.
- Mix the extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, a few drops of mosto cotto, salt & pepper. Adjust amounts according to your taste.
- Mix the salad and dressing well.