While the term SAD very appropriately describes the unhealthy Standard American Diet of nutrient-depleted, heavily-processed foods (so-called), there is abundant goodness to be had for little extra effort or expense.
Here’s a primal, seasonal all-American version of the venerable French Salade Niçoise..
Salade Niçoise Américaine
Prepare hard-cooked pastured eggs. Cool and set aside.
Take a thin slice off the North and South poles of a large, ripe heirloom tomato. Scoop out a little of the flesh from the center and place the tomato in a heavy skillet. Chop the remaining flesh, tops and bottoms and set aside.
Lightly drizzle the tomato with virgin olive oil, season with sea salt and freshly-cracked pepper and roast in a 400 degree oven for 5 minutes to intensify the flavor. Set aside.
Meanwhile, combine US Pacific pole-caught albacore tuna in a bowl with plenty of raw olive oil, organic pitted black olives, sliced scallions, diced roasted red peppers and flat-leaf parsley. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper.
Prepare a salad of mixed field greens and herbs and toss with a little white balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
To assemble, place tomato in center of dinner plate and mound over with tuna mixture. Arrange salad around the perimeter and garnish with quartered eggs and a variety of made-at-home sprouts.
Fresh pan-roasted asparagus wrapped in balsamic grilled peppers and capicola, with basil leaves, pecorino Romano and black olives..
Wash and trim fresh asparagus, then steam until barely tender, about 4 minutes. Immediately plunge into ice water to stop the cooking process and retain color and nutrients. Pat dry.
Lay out thin slices of capicola on a flat surface and place olive oil and balsamic marinated grilled peppers on top. Add whole basil leaves and asparagus and roll up jellyroll fashion. Secure with toothpicks.
Heat a heavy skillet over medium heat with just enough olive oil to prevent sticking. Pan-roast until the edges of the meat begin to crisp and the asparagus starts to brown, about 2-3 minutes per side.
Drain briefly on paper towels, then transfer to a plate and dress with pecorino Romano, black olives and freshly ground pepper.
Fresh Italian sausage, basil, “ugly ripes”, black gerignola olives, hot cherry pepper and garlic.
Wet mozzarella, insalata panino and grana padano stravecchio.
Chop the tomatoes, squeeze out the water then add them to the pan with the garlic, peppers and dried Italian herbs. Cook until soft, not more than 10 minutes. Drain any excess juice.
Assemble the pie. I’m using a prepared crust, but you can use whatever you like. Focaccia and flatbread both work well. Tomato sauce on the bottom, a little grated cheese, sausage, mozzarella, insalata and fresh basil.
Into a 500 degree oven (don’t forget to preheat your stone) until it looks the way you like it.
Slice, plate and enjoy with a salad of field greens with artichokes and lemon garlic dressing.