Wednesday, July 1, 2009

summer salad.


This will be brief, as I'm currently languishing on my couch in a pile of self pity, struck down by some weird cold/allergy combo that is keeping my eyes nice and puffy and my chest somewhat rattly. The other day, when I was feeling 100% awesome, I called my parents to hang out and they invited me over for a nice little summer barbecue. They always tell us not to bring anything, but it always feels better to show up with a side dish, so I threw together this weird little experimental sardine/noodle-y/salad whatnot.

I have never been really into those giant buckets of mayonnaise-drenched noodles and tuna that sometimes show up at barbecues. It's not that they don't taste good, and they get bonus points for being familiar and nostalgic, but for some reason my brain screams, "FOOD POISONING!!!!" even though I know that it's not that dangerous. Anyway, on a hot day I don't really feel like chowing down mayo, so I like the lightly dressed salads with oils & vinegar.

Sardine & Noodle salad:

1 half a cucumber, seeded & diced
1 carrot, diced
1 or 2 celery stalks, diced
1 bunch of green onions, chopped
1 small shallot, diced
a handful of chopped fresh basil (parsley would be good, too)
1 tin of sardines packed in olive oil (or water, if that's what you like)
olive oil, a splash of vinegar (this day, I used apple cider, but if I'd had rice wine vinegar I probably would have tried that, to match up with the fish better)
salt & pepper to taste
cold cooked noodles

Mix it all together in a bowl, dress it with oil & vinegar until it tastes good, and keep it in the fridge until you're ready to eat it.

I made another batch of this yesterday for dinner, but since I literally could not smell or taste a thing all day yesterday, I cannot tell you if it was worth my trouble to make a small amount of garlic paste (made by smashing garlic up with some sea salt) and throwing it in, or if using a small amount of balsamic vinegar instead of apple cider made much of a difference. I am like 80% sure it was delicious, but alas- I could not taste it.

The reason I use tinned sardines instead of cans of tuna is that sardines are lower in mercury and considered generally more 'sustainable' than tuna. Plus, I just like them. They aren't fishy and weird, they aren't salty like cured anchovies, they just taste like flaky, slightly tuna-y canned fish. And, there's 26 grams of protein in one package, isn't that crazy!? I've been on a big sardine kick lately- they do an awesome job of keeping me full and happy for a long time, which is a really big deal for someone who is hypoglycemic and experiences blood sugar crashes pretty frequently.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go sip hot chicken broth and stare out the window at the beautiful weather, hopefully I'll be feeling better by this weekend.


Eliana said...

Hope you feel better. Your salad looks and sounds very tastey.

Angela said...

I'm a big fan of sardines too. I wonder if my fish-in-can hating husband would like this though.

Cate said...

I have never had sardines (that I know of)... Are they a lot different from anchovies (which I adore)?

Feel better!

Alicia Lynn Carrier said...

cate- they are completely different.

tin said...

Dear Mrs. Carrier,

I'm a fan of your blog and thanks to you I've been eating great and healthy in a college environment.

I'm in a bit of dilemma; I have to create a three course meal for two days under the budget of $200. And the fact that it's out in the wood and I only have a burner and limited amount of pans and pots.

I know you're very busy, but I was just wondering if you had any suggestions. If not, that's okay. But again, big thanks for the blog.


Alicia Lynn Carrier said...

justin, i have no idea how to answer that question based on the information you've given me. when we go camping, we just bring meat to grill, premade cold salads, hot dogs, stuff like that.

LoveFeast Table said...

Hope your feeling better! Justin, shouldn't be too hard to do! Try fajitas...we love to make those while camping!

moni said...

Oh my goodness. I have the mayonnaise fear too! My mother was a microbiologist in her earlier years and put the holy terror of food poisoning and harmful bacteria into me at a young age!
Thanks for the link on it, although I think the damage is lifelong - the fear remains...
Love your blog, by the way!

Mary Beth said...

This looks so yummy. Bought sardines yesterday, will try this soon.

Zupan's said...

You’ve packed all of summer’s goodness into one bowl. Sounds delicious and it’s so great to see a simple dressing that really lets the freshness and quality of our Northwest bounty shine through. We can’t wait to try it!