A Walk on the Beach


I've been thinking a lot about salads the past few months. Mostly I'm thinking about composing them, and using their layers of textures and tastes as a reflection of some pretty complex emotions.

I took daily walks on the beach when we were in Cape May, mostly to look for shells and beach glass. Olivia and I also like to check out everyone's creations--sand castles, forts, holes and sculptures. More than anything, though, the walks help me to think and sort things out.

After one of my walks, I sat down with my journal and wrote this.

To think about what comes next is not very comfortable. It feels too soon, inappropriate. But listening to myself when I can, I feel as if I can take a step, lift back a branch to peer slightly ahead. Slightly ahead merely means, maybe tonight I could make a salad from the arugula and radishes I brought from the garden.

When we left for Cape May, we hadn't been cooking for a month. Friends and neighbors had been cooking for us. Everyone kept bringing us salad greens as part of the dinners, and meanwhile my arugula, mesclun and radishes were growing bigger and bigger. Right before we left, I harvested it all and brought it with us.

We packed up all sorts of odds and ends that others had sent. My salads at the beach were compositions of these items, really the best way to make a salad in my opinion. We had a bottle of an orange ginger dressing, all sorts of nuts from a gift basket and some goat cheese. Finally we could eat the home grown greens and radishes.

A Walk on the Beach Salad

Arugula or Spring Mix
Watermelon radishes or any other radish variety, sliced
Crumbled goat cheese
Pistachio nuts, chopped
Carrot ginger dressing*
*I added a tablespoon of light brown sugar to this recipe. I omitted transferring the mixture to a blender, and continued using a food processor.

I made this salad today for my lunch. Three months have passed and we're back to salad greens and radishes. Since I don't have any more of my own at the moment, I shopped at my co-op this morning. I decided on a carrot ginger dressing in place of the orange ginger. I think the combination works well.