At times when my family gets together, we've played a what-if game titled "If you were stuck on a desert island for the rest of your life, what is the one food item you'd want to have with you?" (I guess we were short of other fun things to do that day.....)
My immediate answer was always potatoes, mashed with plenty of butter and seasoned with salt and pepper. French fries would also do if fat wasn't an issue. My dad, however, would promptly reply "a fresh green salad." I could never quite figure that out---if I was stuck on an island, I'd want something comforting. Like potatoes, obviously.
At any rate, I think my dad was on to something. When I was living in California, a friend of mine would mention the word "salad" as if she was dying and the only medicinal compound that would extend her life included greens and dressing. She apparently knew something too.
Well, folks, I just had my favorite fresh green salad (so far). It is (un)cleverly called Rainy Night Salad.
I purchased arugula salad mix in bulk, and balanced the bitterness with some grated carrot. Sliced some cucumbers.
I had half a leftover baguette, and cut it into small cubes. Tossed with olive oil, salt, pepper, and a tiny pinch of Italian seasoning. I "toasted" them à la Julia and Jacques, by lightly frying/tossing in a pan (or wok), but you could probably bake them, instead, until crisp. I tend to like mine a little on the soft side, so that they can be pierced with a fork easily when eating.
A simple vinaigrette.
Combine the following in a small jar:
6 T olive oil, 2 T apple cider vinegar, 1 tsp Dijon mustard, pinch of salt, and a twist of freshly ground pepper. Either put a lid on the jar and shake to combine, or whisk together. This will keep for about a week in the fridge.
The dressing soaks into the baguette croutons...and now I'm craving salad, too.