Sometimes you make up a dish with whatever you have on hand and it turns out more attractive and tastier than you had any reason to expect. My sister C is visiting from Florida, and she, her three kids, and my mom came over last night for pizza. It was Auntie C’s first time meeting the twins.
I wanted to throw together a salad, but the baby spinach I was counting on was well past its prime.
I used one of my favorite kitchen tools, the mandoline, to slice up some carrots and (precooked and vacuum-packed) beets, drizzled with a balsamic glaze I’d forgotten was in the cupboard, and sprinkled some crumbled goat cheese and sunflower seeds on top. Look how pretty!
I realized when cleaning up dinner that I had some fresh thyme hanging out in the fridge, which would have been a nice addition to this dish. If balsamic isn’t your jam (or, in this case, glaze), you could use lemon juice instead. A lot of nuts could work in place of the sunflower seeds. I think if I ever actually planned to make this, I might choose pistachios. Yum.
You might notice, in the second photo above, that the bottle of balsamic glaze is sharpied with yesterday’s date. I try to remember to date containers of things — spices, salsa, pretty much anything that comes in a jar — when I open them. That way, D and I can make informed judgments about whether to dispose of stuff weeks or months (or, ahem, years) later.