The Best Salad
I just don't like food that's been messed about with too much: and I think - probably erroneously - that it's somehow wrong to spend hours making a dish when something much simpler is just as nourishing.
In the office yesterday my colleague Dan and I were reminiscing about Salads of the Seventies; and not with much affection, either. In those days a "ham salad", say, was a couple of squares of processed ham with half a tomato, probably cut with zig zags if it was a posh place, and if anyone would like to learn this exciting trick I can teach you, because they actually taught me this at school.
Next to the half a tomato would be a couple of lettuce leaves and a few slices of cucumber, and half a boiled egg. Maybe a chunk of spring onion if you were lucky. The dressing was Heinz Salad Cream (and I still like it, so there).
When they talk about the improvements of the last thirty years salads are rarely mentioned, I notice, but salads have in fact improved beyond measure.
In the Lake District, in Glenridding on Ullswater, the week before last, in a cafe called Fellbites where the waitress was a friendly Australian woman, I had the nicest salad I've ever eaten, and here it is:
All it consisted of was avocado, mango - both perfectly ripe - various green leaves, some croutons, shavings of Parmesan cheese and French dressing.
It was both simple and delicious. Okay, so Education is dumbing itself down as fast as possible, and the NHS is a crumbling mess, but on the salad front, at least, things are looking up.