Something from Nothing: Rice Salad with Orange-Sesame Dressing

My parents have lived in San Francisco long enough now that it doesn’t feel like an occasion for them to join us for lunch, but not so long that I feed them totally unadulterated leftovers. Recently, though, I barely even had leftovers; I had this:

photo 1 (4)


And so I turned it into this:

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Any grains would do, though I happened to use rice. Any chopped vegetables are nice, and fresh herbs and/or toasted nuts would liven it up. The key was the bright, orangey dressing, which I failed to photograph as individual ingredients, but at least I do remember what I did:

Orange-Sesame Dressing

Combine 1 tablespoon each
orange juice
soy sauce
rice vinegar
sesame oil
honey

Add
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup grapeseed or canola oil

A tablespoon of miso would be a nice addition, too, if you have it, but this version was very much about what I had immediately at hand.

Mix well, pour over your salad, sprinkle with sesame seeds if you’ve got them, and serve.

Peanut Butter and Jam After School Cooky Bars

pbj bars

Third grade.

Third grade was walking to school with Anne, April, Nicky, and Jennifer; it was my mom back at work full time. Third grade was Miss Gibson and her flame of red hair, her long nails, her “math minutes,” and a big project on Alaska. And third grade was coming home after school, my parents still at work for a couple hours, and making PB&J cracker towers with my brother, seeing who could make the tallest stack, laughing as we stuffed the crumbling towers into our mouths.
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Shredded Root Vegetable Salad

salad



I love my CSA, I do, but sometimes, the vegetables, they just stack up. Especially when the farm’s producing root vegetables — gorgeous, sweet, root vegetables — but I am in full-on summertime tomato-pepper-corn mode. So, the root vegetables get ignored. They wait patiently in the back of the crisper — because among their many lovely virtues, they keep — until I can deal with them.

Yesterday I finally did. I pulled out the nine beets, the seven turnips and the four kohlrabi, I peeled and chopped and shredded and pickled and roasted. And then when I had packed most of it away for future salads and pasta toppings, I turned to what was left and made a salad for my dinner.
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