Hot Salad with Lemon

Part I: Cooking again after a week
Between getting a job at a fabulous little Italian restaurant, Enoteca Molinari, and making holiday gifts over the past week, I’ve seen a tomato go off and cut into a pepper that had a small bug inside! Actually, I did not even do the cutting into that pepper, instead the Steve, the dear cook at Enoteca, sliced it right down the middle to find seeds of black and one tiny critter inside; I still ate it.
Neadless to say, I have not been doing so much of my own cooking, until today! On a trip to the grocery store two weeks ago, at the peak of my poverty induced depression, I bought two packages of 99 cent spaghetti and a jar of red sauce– as basic as it gets, I belive the enticing label read, “tomato and basil.”
Today was the day to use these raw materials as well as the rest of the produce I had purchased from the farmer’s market in Montclaire that had not gone off…completely. The result, spaghetti with a red sauce containing zucchini, carrots and loads of black pepper. Additionally, I made a hot salad, that’s right, a hot salad and served it on top of the pasta…it was surprisingly delish, and I had seconds. I think having seconds of your own creation is a pretty good sign.
Part II: Hot salad
Within my tiny fridge, and it is truly about the size of the refridgerator in one’s college dorm room (does this picture do its small size justice?), there were also two hearts of wilting romain. I pulled, no I ripped off the top of an entire head of romaine, the dark, wet shade of green was promptly flushed down the garbage disposal, which is now fondly referred to as “the g.d.” I sliced the remaining lettuce, about one inch strands of lettuce and tossed it all into my tiny frying pan. As you do, I poured a moderate amount of olive oil into the pan allowing the lettuce to sizzle and wilt respectfully over a high flame. The final touch of this hot salad came by squeezing half a lemon’s worth of juice into the pan and tossing in a generous amount of minced garlic!
While my refridgerator may be small, I did manage to inherit a pair of tongs, which have proven to be VERY useful, especially for tossing lettuce in a tiny frying pan!
Using tongs, the lettuce garlic and lemon juice were properly tossed and that makes, hot salad! Again, (and this is just how I like to eat, everything all together, because I like to taste all the flavors at the same time) try serving the hot salad over the pasta, there is a special connection that the lemon juice from the salad makes with the black pepper in the red sauce. Brilliant!


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