Thursday, December 13, 2007

Red Sky at Night

On a chilly December day like today, I often find myself reminiscing about those sunny summer beach picnics that seem so long ago.
This particular beach bash buffet, on legendary Venice Beach, was made even more smashing by the presence of our fine friends to the east - the Texans! Sharon, John, Sara, and Liz had come all the way from Houston, Texas to picnic in style and in the warm California sun - and it was John's birthday to boot.

The stakes were high so my regular picnic fare -cheese, bread, and a little fruit - would not suffice. I looked to my Brockhampton Healthy Home Cooking Cookbook for Picnics and Barbecues and found a salad worthy of this occasion. They call it the 'Salad of Red Leaves, Beans, and Roots' but I like to call it 'Red Sky at Night (a.k.a. a Sailor's Delight)'.

Here is how I made the recipe:
1 can red kidney beans
1/2 red cabbage, shredded
1 small red onion, quartered and finely sliced
1 beet, peeled and grated
1 oz blue Stilton cheese, crumbled

mix up everything but the cheese in a bowl then add this vinaigrette:

1 tsp dijon mustard
1/8 tsp tobasco sauce
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
4 tbsp olive oil

chill all of this until you are ready to serve it, when you are ready to serve pull some big leaves off the cabbage and put a nice scoop of salad on each leaf then sprinkel the Stilton on top. An alternative presentation approach is to line a big bowl with leaves and let everyone serve themself from the bowl. However you serve it, this is a delicious and beautiful salad perfect for a special occasion.

Needless to say, the salad - along with chips, guacamole, one chicken, and a giant watermelon - was enjoyed by all.