Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Mermaid Tales Salad

I leaned with all my might against the heavy wind and the force of gravity. The boat had tipped us sideways, kissing her rails to the water. Like an older sibling she teased us, threatening to dump us out and let us fall into the ocean. I knew she wouldn't let us fall, but my hands gripped tightly to her wire shrouds and my toes clenched her fiberglass deck through rubber soled shoes, just in case. I was seven years old, and proud to be a sailor. My mother shouted out at me from the cockpit, volumes of her worry laden voice were seized and escorted away by gusts of wind before they reached my ears. Every so often I could hear a faint
"always keep one hand on the shiiiipppp..", but even when these words reached my ears, they were muffled by my awe. I was mesmerized by the churning, thrashing, dull blue-gray horizon, and the smooth, white sails which were snapped tight. The tell tails wagged approvingly at the authority of the wind. Then there was the sound. Rhythmic like breath, gentle like rain, we rose and fell to the sound of our crashing bow.
"Ready about?" My brother was at the helm. I rushed back to my mothers worried arms.
"Hard to lee" We turned through the eye of the wind, and for a moment the boat went flat and I could feel the wind's breath on both of my ears. Then the ship leaned to the other side. My father took my hand. He smelled like sunscreen and cold air.
"Why don't you go and hang your legs off of the high side, and look for mermaids?"
"Okay!" I said, and I scooted out onto the deck and hung my legs over the side and stared into our foamy wake.
Years later I am still looking for mermaids. As it turns out Christina's mother is a mermaid artist. Born in Minnesota, miles from the nearest ocean, she found herself compelled to create mermaids. They emerged from the depths of her imagination, in all shapes and sizes, with the most curiously beautiful faces. They are too gentle not to be real. As I was going through my salad pictures for this post, I spotted a picture of one of Catherine's mermaids, and I decided to make her this salad to remind her of her home in the sea.

View Catherine's mermaids:

Mermaid Tales Salad
Boil water and add about 1/4 tsp salt. Cook pasta for about 10 min, then drain and rinse with cold water to prevent it from sticking. In a large frying pan, add
1 Tbsp olive oil and
1 Tbsp white truffle oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 yellow onion
3 cloves garlic
cook for about 3 min, then add the pasta. Cook another 3 min, then remove from heat and dump into a bowl. Add
2 garlic scapes, diced. Put the pan back onto the burner and add
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 head rinsed swiss chard
2 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp water, cover with a lid and turn the heat down. Cook until wilted. Remove the lid and let the moisture evaporate. Add the chard to the pasta. When the salad has cooled, add
1/2 yellow pepper
1/2 orange pepper
1 Tbsp sherry vinegar
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1/2 cup diced basil
fresh ground pepper
Place in fridge and adjust seasoning before serving (you may want to add more oil and vinegar)

Christina's vote: This salad stirred me.


  1. Yum! I want to see the pic of the mermaid too :)

  2. I <3 Mermaids bc of your family :)Lulu has a "Mermaid Playroom"