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Friday, October 9, 2009

Welcome Home Salad with Nectarines and Roasted Cipollini Onions

In the midst of drafting memos and reading discovery requests (are you yawning yet?), I often find myself thinking about food--from what I am going to make for dinner to menu planning for some event that doesn't even exist yet. I don't think you understand--I love menu planning. I think that it should be a national policy to ask every person--maybe on graduation day from high school or college--Tell us, graduate: "What do you like to talk about?" This would be the perfect steer-you-in-the-right-direction question because when people love something-when they are passionate about something, it shows. Their eyes light up. Their voice becomes animated and excited. You can just tell. Then you hand them a card with their destined profession (matched up to their passions, of course, this isn't a caste system!) and dust your hands off and send them on their way!

So, the only problem with this scenario is that, in my case, if you had asked me this profound question on the day I graduated from college, I don't know what I would have said. Maybe my love for writing. But what I liked to talk about would not have been food. Because that didn't fully develop until about my second year into law school--when I was already full speed ahead on a one way path down a certain raging river, if you catch my drift. Ha!

So there it is. The lawyer who loves to talk about food.

My form of daydreaming frequently consists of menu planning. Sexy, I know. So when two of my friends, Aja and Erin, drove up from Los Angeles to San Francisco, they arrived weary and hungry--and full of junk food and candy eaten out of boredom and/or desperation along the way. I decided to make them something light yet comforting: some polenta cakes and a simple salad of mixed greens topped with heirloom tomatoes, slices of sweet nectarine and roasted cipollini onions.
Cipollini onions are sweeter than yellow or white onions, but not quite as sweet as shallots, but they are also small and flat which makes for perfect roasting. Instead of following a recipe, I gave them a good rub of olive oil, sea salt and pepper and then a quick douse of balsamic vinegar and put them in the oven at 350 degrees until they turned soft and melted, about 20-25 minutes. For the greens, I drizzled a little bit of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice and some sea salt and pepper. Keep it simple because the "dressing" and flavor will all come from the juices from the onions, which you can drizzle over the salad after the onions are roasted. Now, I added a last minute quick grating of some Parmegiano Reggiano, but you can leave this out if you want to keep it vegan...


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