This is one is pretty damn easy, and until it goes mainstream, it's pretty reliable in getting people to make expressions whose sum of surprised and impressed on separate scales of 1-10 tops 10. So, maybe they're a 6 impressed (nifty! they think) and a five surprised (well this is unexpected, they say, with hands on hips). Or perhaps they're an eight impressed (you are such a good person! they beam) and at least a three surprised (I didn't leave the house knowing I'd feel these emotions).
  • Fennel, sauteed in olive oil, sliced how you like (circles are cool, but smaller pieces are easier to eat)
  • Arugula. Arugula is awesome.
  • Blueberries. Wash, throw in.
  • Optional: a nifty cheese. Goats are friendly, as they tend to be. This is also a good opportunity to chat up your local cheese merchant. Sample something with some twang. Smoked gouda? Damnit, why not.
  • Optional: oil and balsamic. You think it's weird that those are optional, right? This one is killer if you get the proportions so that the arugula has plenty of support from the other ingredients. If you didn't skimp on those, and especially if you have a nice talkative cheese in there, you can skip or go pretty light on the liquids. They're safe though, and they give the arugula more to work with. Your salad, your call.
  • Blueberry alternatives (or teammates?!): Berries of rasp, black, goji or dried cran (that's probably my order of preference too), pomegranate seeds.
All you friggin do is chop and saute the fennel (salt it a tad), throw it and all the other stuff together, mix it around, say kablammo. Bonus points for taking the fennel off the heat in time to let it cool before it gets thrown in, but even that's not necessary. Don't cook it into oblivion either, just loosen it up some. This one works for friends, strangers and potential lovers.
 


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