Pantry salad

Pantry Salad — serves 6

3 T sesame seeds

One chopped spring onion (or 2 scallions)

1/2 c pine nuts

1/4 c chopped parsley

Can of cannellini beans

1 chopped roasted red pepper

1 ear of corn, cut off the cob

1 c purple rice, cooked on toothsome side

Vinaigrette with extra garlic and salt

This salad is prettier before the addition of the rice. If you want those bright colors, either skip the rice or use brown or white instead.

I subbed rice for the kasha which I thought were buckwheat groats (oops). Technically, an ear of corn is not a pantry item and not even in season, but I had some because of a planned dinner party tonight. You could make it without the corn.

Other good additions: chopped hearts of palm; chopped Spanish olives; diced red onion.

Those of you who know how negative my self-talk tends to be might not recognize me after I produce a perfect omelet. Or a really tasty salad. After taking the first bite of this one, I said, “Oh my god! Who am I?”

Meanwhile, turns out that cancelling dinner guests for tonight was the right thing to do. I’ll still make sweet polenta with mushroom ragout. It’ll last for days!

Earlier, I took to cleaning up the perennial beds. Raking as a minor act of salvation.

My new life hack, discovered by accident (aren’t they all?): using a plunger to open a leaf bag, then using plunger to keep bag open while filling, and finally, using it to tamp leaves down as I go.

I used to put the bag over my head and punch it open from the inside, like a crazy person. Needless to say, at five feet tall, swinging a leg into the bag for stomping mid-rake session wasn’t accomplished with any grace either. So I’m loving this!

I also spent some time hacking and heaving and pulling at the maple roots that were left behind after a shitty stump removal. That little pile of roots depicted above? Took forty minutes.

Since my comments don’t take over at Joanne’s blog, let me shout out here: Wolf Hall is one of my favorite books ever. Be a good choice for a re-read. I just can’t believe how skillfully Mantel crafted her historic narrative. Also: she has a new novel out.

One more shout out: Happy birthday to my mother-in-law!! (She’s the only family member who reads my blog regularly.) Stay healthy. Stay strong. If you were here, I’d pull out some of the salad before adding the garlic — just for you.

31 thoughts on “Pantry salad

  1. Nancy

    That looks delicious! My pantry would support nothing so tasty. Although I do have frozen, organic corn from Sprouts that is The Best! I bet touching the earth fell so good. xo

  2. Nanette

    I just borrowed a biook from the library, On the Pulse by Georgina Fuggle……love her name!…….and it’s the best for simple tasty pantry recipes like your salad., full of beans and lentils, all divided by colour. Hmm I fancy a black meal tonight!!!!! I have her Take One Veg as well, super simple ways to use veg. I don’t usually bother with recipes, just wing it with a few favourites, but plenty of time at home to browse and experiment, and although I eat healthily and well, I feel I need to be eating super well now. Her writing style is fun too.

    1. deemallon

      Georgina Fuggle! Sounds like a fictional nanny. I don’t usually use recipes either (except when I bake) but also have been enjoying leading through cookbooks lately. I got one called “Plenty” for my birthday. Really nice vegetarian dishes.

  3. Joanne

    Sent reply that my second attempt at soup was successful as I sautéed the onion and cabbage first and very lightly salted. This salad looks amazing and I will add ingredients to my virus shopping list. Frozen corn. And no garlic for me!! Any ideas on things to make with two bags of gift grits?? Yes people give me grits and coarse milled c yellow corn ( corn bread). I also have sublime Georgia bbq sauce ( also a gift) my sister in law.

    1. Jen NyBlom

      Joanne—Think of grits as a blank canvas; add a little onion and cheese, some herbs for savory, or maple syrup and mixed berries for sweet— cook it, chill it in a loaf pan, then slice, grill and top with a lovely saute of multi-colored veggies! The only limit is your imagination—go wild! 🙂

    2. deemallon

      Tonight I cooked up coarse corn meal with two ears of corn scraped in, a little butter and garlic, and a big handful of grated cheddar. Topped it with two types of mushrooms sautéd with onion, celery, and cauliflower. Half a can of tomato paste. It was pretty good.

  4. Michelle Slater

    Yum. Good food is a mood boost. This is pretty stuff. Me too, I shopped before the crasy hoarding went into full swing, so well enough stocked and loving cooking and cutting and eating. I’ve two books to finish and plenty of entertainments (Videos, Radio, CDs, TV, Podcasts)-I’ve been indulging in Brilliant Stephen Fry’s 7 Deady Sins, one episode at a time – “I will take each one of the Seven Sins in turn, lay them out on the surgical table and poke, prod, pry and provoke in an attempt to try to anatomise and understand them; I hope and believe it will be, if nothing else, delicious fun and something of a change from the usual run of podcastery.” –

    1. deemallon

      Stephen Fry sounds like a great choice for the weekend. We started an Aussie legal drama in Acorn TV: Janet King. It’s good.

  5. Jen NyBlom

    A little self care today goes a long way, right?! (LOved the image of you inside the leaf bag, trying to open it (teehee!) Beautiful salad! Stay well!

  6. Deborah Lacativa

    I cracked up envisioning you bagged up in the front yard like a crazed trick-or-treater! Wolf Hall was one of the books waiting for me at the library. I’ll have to back burner it for a while.

  7. debgorr

    And here I thought I was the only one that put the bag over my head to shake it out! 🙂 I am so trying the plunger…

  8. Joanne

    Wolf Hall waits for a second or third read on the stairs to the second floor—I use the stairs as a bookshelf. If you love it then try sans I’m and his series if 6 or 7 books on the same time period. His main character is a lawyer working for Cromwell to take apart the monasteries. Finds a murder instead. His last book was 1000 pages and I was seriously wishing for another 500.

    Got my start cooking with 6 years in Georgia but never made grits but I make some great fried squash.

      1. deemallon

        Thanks for the recommendation and what a recommendation it is. The last 1,000 page book I read was Outlander. Not generally up for that much.

  9. Marti

    I can taste the goodness of this salad as I look at the photos. Here what we do most every Saturday is what I call the cleaning out the frig dinner. I like to create a smorgasbord of leftover food and we have come up with some pretty wacky but tasty combos such as leftover meatloaf with a side of spaghetti! I think this will serve us well during these days. We try to go meatless one day a week so have lots of beans, rice and pasta and there is always homemade soup in the freezer. My husband likes to bake bread so we have plenty of whole wheat and sourdough.

    Here in New Mexico, things are getting very contained, we are now up to 13 cases and over 495 tested. Schools, libraries, churches closed. Many, many events cancelled and the stores continue to be empty of necessary items…travel for us elders is strongly not advised…still there are dear old favorite books to read, cloth to stitch and even a bit of windfall to bundle and dye, music to listen and dance to and believe me I will be doing my version of River Dance on Tuesday and baking Irish soda bread. Life and rituals go on, somewhat altered but we hold to those things that bring us quiet joy, those rituals that center us , etc.

    1. deemallon

      I love the image of you dancing. Marti! Things are quite contained here too. I’d office telecommuting for at least the next two weeks. All schools closed. Restaurants, if they stay open, have to remove tables until six feet lies between.

      You remind me that my mother used to call her week’s end salad “Garbage Salad.” It was dressed with a mayo based dressing and often resembled a humble Waldorf. It was always one of my favorites.

  10. Acey

    I’m glad to see you have outside space where you can be and literally ground. Looks/feels like that root removal process could be very metaphorical fulfilling under the circumstances. Almost like you’re ridding “the path” of this situation’s toxic root. Love also the three slate stones just there.

    Night before last I had the psychic hit PTB could and would easily enough start closing roads around here should things get hairy with casualties, too many sick etc. Before I could engage with freak-out scenarios I found myself at Scheepers/Kitchen Garden Seeds. Last night Jim and I banged out a feed-ourselves seed list and today we both commenced working to clear more space for food producing beds.

    Have to. If they’re forced to close the roads we’ll lose access to our CSA as well as several farmers markets.

    1. deemallon

      I hadn’t even thought of road closures but then when you consider that China stopped all train and bus travel once they saw what was happening, it doesn’t seem like such a bad idea. Last I checked, Middlesex County has 75 cases.

      But what I mostly wanted to say is thank you for seeding the idea (ha!) of ordering some seeds. I have a new front bed that gets full sun where I might actually be able to grow a few vegetables.

  11. ravenandsparrow

    Your pantry soup was a big hit here and now the pantry salad is calling to me. Good work on the bag and the roots. Gardening will be a great way to settle anxiety in the weeks to come.

    1. deemallon

      I saw a version of the soup in a cookbook. Perhaps an Eastern European standard? Glad you tried it! Hope you all are staying well.

  12. Liz A

    the plunger and the yard waste bag … totally brilliant … as are the colors in your salad

    as for roots … we’ve been digging up weeds at daughter Meg’s house … takes me out of myself, which is a relief

    1. deemallon

      Gardening does that doesn’t it? Maybe lots of manual labor does. It helps to be outside, too!

  13. Ginny

    Will you share your favorite dressing recipes? I have this wonderful oil but clueless on good concoctions for salads etc. thanks!


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