I've had a little theory brewing about life and death and loved ones:
To me, the biggest fear about losing someone is that they're no longer around to see or hug or laugh. How do we diminish the absence, how do we make it feel like someone is there after they're gone?
I like thinking that we can absorb someone's personality. By spending time, by hearing stories, or just by being grateful for them while they're alive, we slowly adapt that person into ourselves. Their essence and memory becomes a part of us, similar to the way we carry genes through generations.
That way, when we lose someone, to find them again we just need to look inside. Although it's no substitute for the real thing, we can look at the pieces of ourselves that come from those we've lost.
This week, we lost my grandmother. She was strong and stoic, but quick to smile and laugh. She described everything as 'wonderful,' and always seemed grateful.
She also liked to cook and bake, and I like to think I've absorbed that from her and my mom. I've got a bit of the stoic part, too, but as anyone who's seen me at a wedding knows, I'm pretty quick to turn on the waterworks.
Arugula Salad with Citrus & Fennel
In the spirit of changing seasons, we've got a spring salad topped with winter citrus. We like it because it's an easy way to eat a lot of vegetables, especially herbs, which are kind of like the original 'superfood' (parsley and dill are high in vitamin C, just like oranges). If you can handle dairy, a grating of pecorino is a great topping with the hazelnuts.
This is another recipe we made with Good Eggs a few weeks ago. You can shop the ingredients and see the original recipe here.
- 2-3 Cara cara oranges or other citrus, segmented
- 2 big handfuls of arugula
- 1 large fennel, quartered, thinly sliced
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 watermelon radish, quartered, thinly sliced
- Handful of parsley, roughly chopped
- Handful of dill, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup hazelnuts
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- Marinate - In a large bowl, combine fennel and radish with the lemon juice, and set aside to marinate.
- Hazelnuts - Meanwhile, toast hazelnuts in a skillet on medium heat, until fragrant and just starting to brown - about 5-10 minutes. Pour nuts onto a cutting board and allow to cool. Remove skins by rolling the nuts around with palm of your hand. Roughly chop, and set aside for topping.
- Salad - Remove fennel and radish and place in a separate bowl, and reserve the juices from marinated for the dressing. Combine fennel and radish with arugula and chopped herbs, mix well.
- Dressing - Whisk in sea salt with the lemon juice. Next, whisk in the olive oil. (The order matters - the salt won't dissolve well after adding the oil).
- Assemble - Make individual bowls, and top with orange pieces and dressing. Garnish with a sprinkle of toasted hazelnuts.
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