Monday, August 23, 2010

Just Salad

Are there clear lines between salads of fruits and vegetables?
Tables cleared and lined so often with both, soaked in dressing....
Sing, muse, of the rare no-dressing-added dish;
Dish, muse, on the flavors simplicity imparts--

"Parts fresh and natural form a whole
Wholesome without need for further tampering!
Ring out the newfangled, ring in the wholesome...
Some foods are best enjoyed the way they are."
I went for a run last week.  It was my first marathon-length run ever, it was along the notoriously challenging Six Foot Track through Australia's Blue Mountains, and it ended in a police rescue...but more on that later.  The fact of the matter is, despite all the unexpectedly rocky uphill miles, despite wades across icy creeks and skids-to-stops before terrifying drop-offs, I was still moved more than anything by the untouched majesty of the bush and mountains.  I saw entire forests, windblown and growing at severe angles from imposing mountain faces.  I saw otherworldly rock formations, walls built for extreme climbing, caves like mouths of monsters.  I saw wild bulls and kangaroos and wombats, enormous and strong and beautiful in their freedom.  In short, I finally got to experience the Movie Nature Moment in real life -- Chris McCandless' overwhelmed reverence in Into the Wild, Fantastic Mr. Fox's awed salute to the truly wild wolf.  Even when I ended up camped out in a deserted outhouse after sundown, freezing cold and wet and injured, I couldn't help but notice the grandeur of the tallest trees shielding me from the wind, swaying and reaching way up into the sky, falling just short of the brightest constellations.  These were things unmarred by man, and necessarily so.

I wasn't going to write about this impromptu fruit salad I threw together in Cairns -- it's really only made from fruit and salad, and it's even more absurdly simple than last week's eggplant -- but this week's adventures have renewed my appreciation for keeping it simple and natural.  If I'd had more than three ingredients at my disposal, this salad would not have turned out as well.  It would've had more variety of flavor and texture, yes.  But the dish at its base -- no dressing or croutons or nuts or garnish, just incredibly fresh grown things -- lacked nothing.  Like the vast and mighty Australian mountains, it was perfect untouched.

Literal Fruit Salad
just fruit and salad...really

  • 1 box fresh organic strawberries
  • 1 large tangelo
  • 1/4 cup each green oak lettuce, baby beet, spinach, & tatsoi

Directions (not that you need 'em)

Wash all ingredients.  Cut strawberries.  Squeeze tangelo juice over salad mixture, add strawberry slices, and toss.

Strawberries and tangelos are both in season in Queensland right now, which is what made this stupidly simple salad so stupidly good.

1 comment:

  1. I love that you labeled this "constrained writing".

    Oh, hi!