Sunday, May 27, 2012

Dressing for Temple

Basil, balsamic vinegar and pine nut dressing 

Towards the end of my pregnancy with Roman, my doula was guiding me through some relaxation techniques and she suggested I  "thank" my body for all the hard work it had done.  It was the first time in my life I ever considered uttering such a phrase out loud.  This time around, I've come to regard my body with more reverence.  It's not perfect, but there's something sacred going on inside.

Endives, avocado and tomatoes 

Though my body occasionally misbehaves, still-- with water, some fresh air and plenty of good things to eat, it's been great to feel good.  This is my first chance to nourish this little life.  He's getting lots and lots of greens.

French Anchovy Dressing 

My refrigerator shelf is home to several mason jars each week, filled with tangy, bright tasting ingredients.  When lunch rolls around, I pull out the spring mix, kale, spinach, endives- whatever I have gathered from the green market, and dress it with one of these special concoctions.  I reach for extra Omega 3's in tiny fish like anchovies or sardines, add protein with a handful of chopped walnuts or a sprinkling of sesame seeds.

Anchovy Dressing over Zucchini Ribbons 

I can't control the city smog, construction dust or people blowing cigarette smoke in my face, but at least there is no limit to how much salad I can eat.   These are a few of the offerings for my temple.

Basil, Balsamic Vinegar and Pine Nut Dressing
Jamie Oliver, The Naked Chef Takes Off

This was delicious served over endives, avocado and cherry tomatoes.

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 good handful of chopped fresh basil
1 good handful of pine nuts, toasted and chopped (about 1/4 cup)
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Carefully toast the pine nuts in a dry skillet.  Watch them closely as they will tend to burn easily.  Cool and chop.  Combine the vinegar, oil, chopped basil and pine nuts in a jar with salt and pepper and shake well.

Anchovy French Dressing
The New York Times Cookbook (My mother's copy, 1961 edition!)

Toss this with some fresh assorted lettuces or serve over zucchini ribbons made using a mandoline or vegetable peeler.

1 small can flat anchovy fillets
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Mash the anchovies with a fork (I chose to cut them into bits with a sharp knife.)  Combine with the olive oil and lemon juice and mix until thoroughly blended.


  1. Lovely dressings - they will elevate any salad.

  2. only you can make dressing so poetic (and enticing)!

    (says an old friend with a new face...)

  3. What a lovely post! And your photos want me to dash to the market and buy tons of greens and douse them with a great dressing!

  4. I haven't made a dressing with anchovies in a while and I love them. How have I forgotten about this... Thank you for sharing your wisdom. We should all treat our bodies so well. As for those people blowing smoke in your face, tsk tsk.

  5. So true, your body is a temple. You are giving your baby a very important gift. And, might I add, those concoctions look so tasty I think I am going to use them despite not being pregnant.

  6. Lovely salad and dressing. I like these kinds of dressing for my summer salads, light and beautiful.

  7. I know I already left a comment here, but just wanted to let you know there is something waiting for you at my place!

  8. oh, I already like this! and I know my whole family will thank you once I make it, because we are anchovy eaters. After 2 weeks on the road we are ready to treat our bodies to home made fresh food.


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