Last Friday night I went to Tria with my friend Georgia, to help her spend a gift certificate that her boyfriend had given her. We had a couple of glasses of amazing wine, shared a salad and panini and talked for several hours straight. It was quite lovely.
The salad was baby arugula, beets, chevre, mellowed red onions and crushed toasted almonds. It was dressed with a balsamic vinagrette that more sweet than tart. I loved it so much that I’ve already blogged about it over at the Metblog. I was dertermined to recreate it at home.
I woke up this morning to the phone ringing. It was the front desk called up to say that maintenance was on their way to install my new dishwasher. This was a very exciting event, except that waking up and then leaping out of bed to get dressed enough to let someone into the apartment left me feeling funky. A little headachy and just not in a place where I could wrap my head around the day. I sat on the couch for a little while reading for class, before deciding that what I really needed to do was go out for a bit. I needed to run to the bank anyway.
Out in the world, I found myself headed in the direction of Sue’s Produce, which is my all-time favorite produce place in Philadelphia. Over the last few years they have slowly created a reputation for carrying a lot of organic, interesting, baby or othewise specialty produce. People come from all over Center City to shop there, so the veggies are always really fresh (and they are really good about marking down the stuff that has passed its prime but is still serviceable). They also have a refrigerated case of local yogurts, eggs, milk, salads and cheeses. It is basically a foodie’s platonic ideal of a produce market.
And there was, staring at me from the shelf. A bag of baby arugula. I did pause before buying, because it was $6 a pound, which is well above what I normally spend on salad greens. I lifted and tested each bag, trying to determine which was the lightest. At the checkout, it rang out at just over half a pound, which wasn’t so crazily expensive that that it would cause my head to explode.
Once I got home, I didn’t end up making exactly the salad I had had a Tria, mostly because I wasn’t up for waiting for beets to cook. But what I did make was delicious nonetheless. On top of a big bowl of arugula, I threw in sliced cucumber, a hard boiled egg (I’m still working my way through the eggs from the last Fork You), some gorganzola and red onion. A toasted nut or some dried cranberries would have been good too, but I just didn’t get that far. Over it all, I poured a little bit of balsamic vinagrette that I made a while back for a podcast that should be airing soon.
The best part? I still have enough baby arugula for at least two more salads. It is a happy thing.