Recipe: Bittersweet Salad

Recipe: WARM BITTERSWEET SALAD

You'll need:

Local organic radishes from WI Growers Co-op
Upland Cress from Labore
Organic Nettles from Just Local, bagged
Organic Red Rabbage
Organic Pixie Tangerines or ripe Organic Bosc Pears
Salad Girls Pomegranate Dressing (in the Produce Aisle)

Directions:

During a late-afternoon rain this June, put out the lamps. Sit beside a rain-streaked window and play "L'Hymne à l'Amour" by Edith Piaf. Lose yourself in memories of a lost love from long ago, during a simpler time, when you were such a total freaking idiot, so careless with your poor young heart. Listen to the rain on your street and Edith's crying voice. Light a Djarum cigarette. Stub it out angrily. You are so overcome with nostalgia that you have forgotten you despise clove cigarettes...

Stand. Take long, languorous steps to the kitchen as though wading through recollection.

Slice the radishes the way your long-ago love sliced that young heart of yours over and over. Tear the crisp, beautiful cress similarly. Shred some red cabbage, the way that careless lover shred your youthful idealism into bite-sized bits and added you just for color.

Open the Just Local Nettles carefully from their bag. Wear gloves. The sting of them is quickly neutralized by blanching in hot water, just enough to wilt them. Tamp them dry, like your tear-streaked cheek.Though you'll wear gloves, always handle the fresh Nettles with cooking tongs. If only you had been handled so gently, so many, many Junes ago.

Add. Toss.

Peel the tangerine. Be amazed, yet again, how fresh citrus can dominate a room with its sunny, bold, and optimistic fragrance, even when, thanks to this recipe, you are crippled with self-doubt and nostalgia. Take heart, briefly. Arrange the sweet fruit segments like the points of a clock on the greens.

Time. What a laugh, eh? It heals nothing.

What can help you now, dear friend? Time, your heart, memory, and this ridiculous recipe have betrayed you. What will save you from being reduced to abject weeping?

Yes. Salad Girl Pomegranate Pear dressing from the Seward Produce Department. A delicious balm for your poor, dear, sliced, shredded, peeled, blanched, and bitter (but very healthy!) heart.

Eat. Enjoy the crunch and snap, the warmth and sweetness of this salad. And remember: That June was long ago, and, you . . . are a survivor.