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Arugula Salad with Shaved Parmesan

arugulasaladSimplify. That’s my mantra right now. After a busy weekend and big projects looming, I’m trying to maintain my calm with quiet nights at home filled with novels and Brian Eno’s Ambient 1: Music for Airports on repeat. The album was designed to bring calm to the chaos of an airport terminal, so imagine the wonders it does for my one-bedroom apartment.

I’m also trying to simplify meals. I want them fast, healthy, and full of bright flavors, so an arugula salad with Parmesan cheese and a lemon vinaigrette was a perfect dinner last night.

lemondressingIt takes about ten minutes to throw all of the ingredients together, giving you the rest of the evening to focus on more pressing things. Like ambient music. Or listening to spider plant leaves rustle by a drafty window. Continue Reading →

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Fig and Goat Cheese Salad

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As a child, I despised Fig Newtons more than any other lunch bag item. I couldn’t stand the mealy texture of their filling or the moist cookie surrounding it, even though the commercials hailed them as a refined confection. They had no animated mascot or commercials featuring rebellious kids with fruit heads. All I wanted was a pack of Dunkaroos or a bag of Gushers before running off to band practice, so more often than not, the Newtons would end up traded to an unsuspecting 2nd grader or in the trash.

This hatred of Fig Newtons resulted in me never trying a fresh fig until last year. They were easy to avoid in the Northeast, however when I came across a fig and prosciutto salad during my lunch hour, I decided it was time to grow up and I’m so glad I did. Fresh figs are nothing like their mashed and mangled cousins in Fig Newtons. They’re incredibly sweet and have a texture unlike any other fruit I’ve tried.

I was inspired by this salad from Last Night’s Dinner and I made my own version for dinner today. It’s a combination of figs, goat cheese, blueberries, and greens that come together with a balsamic vinaigrette. Recipe and more photos after the jump. Continue Reading →