It’s time to start thinking of salads…
and not just any salads
Salads that can be the meal, salads that amuse and delight, salads that have what it takes to be front and center, the star of the show.
Salad with a little more heft then a handful of leafy green, salad with substance, salad with body.
A salad called
Naked Children in the Grass
It starts with French cut beans. I have no idea how they got be called French cut, unless it’s because the cut makes ordinary green beans look more Haricots verts, which is French for ‘green beans’. The whole thing becomes a little circular…
Since the beans are the grass part,they need to be skinny.
The naked children part is being played by chickpeas.
Chick peas have aliases in many languages – in Spanish, they’re garbanzos, grão de bico in Portuguese; pois chiches in French, channa in India and ceci in Italian.
Ceci is not to be confused with
As the image of the pipe is not the pipe, it is not also true the the recipe for the salad is not the salad, but rather the image of the salad?
If that’s not meta enough for you
“The chickpea is neither a chick nor a pea. Discuss.”
Talk amongst yourselves.
“Does the name of this recipe give you a flash of an old-fashioned, hot summer evening, romping children, and a band playing Sousa in the park? We hope it does, for this recipe, too, belongs behind that nostalgic scrim. It’s wedded to a July evening when all anyone wanted was a refreshing, but satisfying, accompaniment for butter corn on the cob, sliced tomatoes with fresh basil, and chunks of wholegrain bread. We once heard of a Dutch recipe called ‘Naked Children in the Grass’. We don’t remember its makings, but when you prepare this one you’ll see why we named it as we have.”
Manners and Manners, p. 98.
NAKED CHILDREN IN THE GRASS
3 cups cooked chickpeas, drained
1 small red onion, thinly sliced, (soaked in cold water for 10 minutes takes out the bite and makes them easier to eat)
¼ pound fresh mushrooms, sliced (there used to be only kind of mushrooms….pick a fave)
1 cup French cut green beans, cooked and drained (or however much green bean is in a box of frozen French cut beans – canned is too mushy here and just about anywhere else, except 3 bean salad)
1/2 cup bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 small head leaf lettuce torn into bits (leafy greens of your choice – there didn’t used to be choice….enough to provide cover for the chickpeas)
Lebanese Salad Dressing (p. 104)
1/3 cup of olive oil
1/3 cup of lemon juice (2 lemons, more or less)
1 clove of garlic, crushed
½ teaspoon salt (or to taste)
5 or 6 grinds of black pepper
4 or 5 fresh sage leaves, chopped fine
Ruth Ann Manners & William Manners. The Quick and Easy Vegetarian Cook Book.1978. M. Evans and Co. NY pp.98-9.