Saturday, August 2, 2014

Arugula Salad with Sardines and Preserved Lemon

You know the saying. When life—in, say, the form of two lovely dinnertime hosts who have just plied you with roasted pastured chicken and grilled eggplant and zucchini from their garden and just-plucked tomatoes and homemade pâté and a veritable panoply of stunning wines and a wide night sky pinned up with constellations, into which a shooting star slips, sudden and silent, as if from another world—when that life, goes the saying, hands you a jar of preserved lemons, you go home and you make lots of things that involve preserved lemon the next day.


Okay, maybe that's not the saying. It lacks a certain ring. But it's true. The corollary is, when life in any form does not hand you preserved lemons, you make your own. (Shortcut here). And then, in either case, you make lunch.

Lunch, since you asked, should be this.

4-5 oz baby arugula
Good quality olive oil
About 1 tbsp preserved lemon, chopped
Fleur de sel (or sub kosher salt)
1 medium carrot, coarsely grated
1/2 cup canned navy beans, rinsed and drained
Liberal scattering sprouted sunflower seeds*
2 tins sardines, drained**
Freshly ground black pepper

Drizzle arugula with olive oil, sprinkle with the preserved lemon, and toss well. (Use enough oil to lightly coat the leaves. I just do this directly on the plates, using my hands, or you could do it in a bowl and then arrange beds on the plates).

Sprinkle lightly with salt, then scatter liberally with carrot, navy beans, and sunflower seeds. Top with sardines and freshly ground black pepper.

Serves 2 for a light summertime meal, and pairs well with a cold glass of Torrontés.

*Available at Costco.

**Current favorites: Wild Planet Pacific sardines in extra virgin olive oil with lemon.

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