After a few months of gluten-free, lean-protein, low-carb, whole-grain, raw-food living; the Taste Buds began to cry out indignantly “Why does everything taste the same?! Why do we have to be so healthy? Why can’t we have pizza? If we have to eat another leafy green salad dressed in olive oil and vinegar we’re going revolt! We don’t care if you’re turning 40.… Oatmeal for Sunday brunch?! Oatmeal with almond milk and a drizzle of honey – this you call a treat?!”
Part of it was that brown rice and beans were just so darn easy to prepare blahhh. So was oatmeal Ho-hum. And shaking up a weekly jar of olive oil vinaigrette was just no big deal zzzzzzz. The wholesome dishes were a habit, removing the guesswork– and flavor after a while. It was health-conscious eating, but mindful masticating? Not so much.
Something had to give. And it better be giving something different and delicious demanded the Taste Buds. At a Sunday Brunch party inspired by memories of thinly sliced smoked salmon and lox, baskets of bagels, tubs of cream cheeses: plain and flavored, and plates of sliced veggies; flavor returned in the form of a Fraiche Neu Salad.
It began as many meals had with a layer of the leafy green-of-choice: arugula, for its sharp herby-ness. But then it really started to get good with a few boiled new potatoes tossed in for a tender bite and some toothsome heft. Salty-oily slivers of smoked salmon or lox draped louchely on the leafy bed. Thin ribbons of sweet-tangy pickled red onions layered on more color and exciting flavor. A scattering of capers for even more salty-savoriness. And then a few well-toasted pumpernickel squares added in for a dizzyingly pleasing crunch. It all ended tastily with a piquant drizzle of Horseradish-Dill Crème Fraiche dressing (avowed health-nuts can easily substitute Greek yogurt).
Composed salad? Deconstructed BLC (Bagels Lox Creamcheese)? Whatever!… Yippee!! Flavor! Color! Texture! And while it might not be as high on the health-o-meter as steel-cut oatmeal or brown rice and beans, it’s still in keeping with the balanced eating regime; Enough already! sometimes we just need a little love and a lot of flavor.