good morning When you encounter fruit salad in the wild, it’s generally garbage: unripe bits of cantaloupe mixed with cardboard honeydew, pale strawberry halves, slippery rounds of browned banana, stringy chunks of pineapple, grainy blueberries, the occasional squiggly grape. It’s depressing.
But when you make your own fruit salad? When you can buy and use a nice mixture of ripe fruits, then increase its flavors with acidity and sugar? This is an anti-depressant situation, an experiment that can never go wrong. It’s a breakfast delight, a lunch delight, a dinner dessert to delight in.
use Ali Slagle’s new ace recipe (above) to begin your research. She massages lime rind into some sugar to release the oils, then mixes it into the fruit with lime juice, tweaking the ratio of juice to sugar until the result is electrifying. You could add some chopped mint, some red chilies. Some like ground cinnamon or coriander. Some basil? That is very good eating.
As for the rest of the week. …
I like Hetty McKinnon’s cold noodle salad with spicy peanut sauce for its weeknight versatility. She calls for cucumbers, peppers and radishes, but you could make it with cabbage or carrot instead, or with asparagus, broccoli or cauliflower – whatever is in the crisper and looks good. Mix those into soba noodles and pour the wonderful sauce over the top, making the dish umami-rich and fiery.
Amandeep Sharma’s recipe for butter chicken was a staple of personal meals at the Attica restaurant, in Melbourne, Australia, where I learned to make the dish. It is outstanding.
David Tanis’ beautiful recipe for a spinach and tofu salad it’s a summertime delight, and those who don’t want to turn on their stoves can certainly sear the tofu in a pan instead. Watch it closely, though: There’s brown sugar in the marinade.
It doesn’t take long to make your own ranch, like Ali does in her recipe cooked ranch chicken, using it both as a marinade and as a creamy, herby sauce. (I’m impressed by the subscriber who told us he made bacon before the chicken, seared the chicken in its fat, then crumbled the pieces over the sauce.) Get that.
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Now, it is many miles from the subjects of braising rabbit and assembling a saladbut I enjoyed Zadie Smith’s last piece for The New Yorker on writing historical fiction in the shadow of Charles Dickens.
There is something starkly honest about The Financial Times’ commitment to excessive luxury reporting in How to Spend It, the paper’s weekend magazine. So yeah, let’s see how it is for Rory FH Smith behind the wheel of an all-electric Rolls-Royce Spectre: “Out on the wooded and winding roads of Napa, the Spectre’s acceleration is majestic, not terribly sharp like so many electric cars.”
Alexandra Jacobs writes book reviews for The New York Times with such fervor and excitement that I might read Andrew Lipstein’s book”The Vegan” at her recommendation.
Finally, the pioneering Jamaican singer Desmond Dekker was born on this day in 1944. (He died in 2006, and Jon Pareles wrote his obituary for The Times.) Cue “The Israelites,” live in 2004. Listen to that while you cut fruit. I’ll be back next week.