Salad, a Work of Art?


A Beautiful Healthy Salad

I could pay tribute to my daughter Dagny and name this salad after her because she called yesterday and asked about my diet and restarted healthy for me. I’m still below 198 but that’s up a couple of pounds from my low. I blamed the weather for a lack of exercise, a craving for Caribbean pork and beans, in addition to mangoes being in season and cheap, about 40 cents each for a perfectly ripe, one pound, Julie Mango. You can get fat off fresh fruit. She also drew out of me that maybe I’m drinking more and packing in some bigger meals and eating the leftovers. Just like every good Mother on earth, she just seems to know when people are being bad.

Well Dagny didn’t waste a breath lecturing me. She just declared that when she comes to visit me at the end of August, she wants to take her Daughters and Carson to the bottom of Annaly Bay. This is a strenuous walk for people in really good shape. It’s about 2 mile down to the Bay and then another half mile up and down the coast line to visit an old mill and a tidal pool carved into the rock by wave action where the bold can go for a swim. And now that you are tired and fatigued by the hot sun, it’s time to turn around and go back up.

The last time I went I was 50 pounds heavier and it darn near killed me. So this time I’m going to be in shape for the walk. I cleaned off my tread mill and did a half hour work out at the maximum incline and decided on the salad above for dinner. Not bad, I covered 1.5 miles and lost a pound overnight returning to 197. Dagny has rejuvenated me.

The salad is simplicity itself.

  1. Tear the crisp young pieces of the romaine lettuce discarding the tops and stems.
  2. Lay them on the plate in a leaf pattern.
  3. Cut flame roasted red bell peppers in a petal pattern and place on the romaine.
  4. The center is artichoke hearts covered with Gorgonzola cheese.
  5. Place the black olives around the white center.
  6. I used a sprig of Basil because I ran out of peppers to complete my design.

Of course the pretty salad comes with another story. Monica who has a beautiful Indian Food Blog visited me so naturally, I did the return visit and the food pictures were spectacular with a true professional presentation. If any of the cookbook companies wanted to outsource their picture taking, they could do a lot worse than hiring Monica. If you love food of any kind, a visit to her site is worth your time. I doubt that I could find all of the ingredients to cook Indian food, but I said that same thing about Thai food and then found all the ingredients.

I was determined to make my meal as pretty as hers but also takes note she blacks out the background and makes the title dish the star. That’s just a little extra effort for a better picture. Also notice she seems to have solved the problem of making white on white foods attractive with flowers, herb sprigs and sauce accompanying the main dish. Truly a job well done and I could pay tribute to her and name it Monica’s Salad.

Of course then there is Uncle Allie who I met 45 years ago and who made sandwiches and salads out of the most unusual combination of ingredients arranged in the most attractive way. Since I was really not familiar with Italian food at the time, I would always ask what he called a particular combination and his answer was always the same, “It’s a salad, just a salad.”

Your choice, “Dagny’s Healthy Salad”, “Monica’s Pretty Salad” or “Uncle Allie’s Just a Salad”.

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3 Responses to “Salad, a Work of Art?”

  1. monicasawhney Says:

    Poppa John, thank you so much for your tribute and for your very kind words on your blog! Your salad looks great and I’m so happy that you felt inspired by my blog.

    Much luv!


  2. Tweets that mention Salad, a Work of Art? « Coffee Pot Cooking -- Says:

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Monica Sawhney and balleindianfood, balleindianfood. balleindianfood said: SO HAPPY I inspired someone to make this dish!!! Check out Papa John's awesome blog 😀 […]

  3. Poppa John Says:

    Thanks Monica – keep up the good work.

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