I had an intense conversation the other day with a good friend about something I'm sure you'll find absolutely life changing - our blogs.
The item up for discussion was whether we should be "personal" or treat them more like a business and keep to the general theme of said blogs. In my case, food.
Generally, I do keep to that central theme. I may ramble for a few sentences or paragraphs before I get to the food at hand that day but I feel like 98% of my blog is in fact, food related. Her concern was that unprofessional - that is, un-thematic - conduct might detract from the legitimacy of the content or speaker. Like, if I ramble on for 20 minutes about my friendly conversations the recipe or rant or restaurant review that is bound to follow will no doubt lose it's credibility.
Here's my stance: It's my blog. Therfore, my space to do with what I like. I'm gonna say what I fucking want. And while I'm sure the food interests me (and you, my dear readers), I also think that food (or any subject for that matter) without context, looses its depth. It misses a particular authenticity and meaning and subjectivity. In essence, it becomes a badly researched newspaper article that provides no connection for people. It speaks at them, rather than with them. Food - and other subject matter - only becomes interesting when there's a location to place it in. In this case, that location is an evening eating Scratch Ravioli, indulging in a couple glasses of vino (or 8), and spending quality time with one of the best friends I could ever ask for, discussing life in all its intricacies. It is only then, to me, that food and the blog become anything worth eating/reading.
Unless of course I posted a bunch of photos of naked ladies. It might be interesting then too.
For example, (no, no naked ladies - back to food now), the following salad would not have been as enjoyable had it not been shared with someone. And now I'm sharing it with you. Borrowed from The Vegetarian times, this seasonal gem is sweet, tart, crunchy, grainy, and a little bit indulgent. It just feels special. And while it does take a little more planning than simply chopping up some cucumber and throwing it in a bucket of lettuce, it isn't by much. Ladies and gentleman and folks, I present to you, roast grape & arugula salad.
Roast Grape & Arugula Salad
6 Medium Shallots, unpeeled.
2 C Seedless Red Grapes.
6 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
3 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar.
1 Tsp Dijon Mustard.
1 Tbsp Fresh Thyme, finely chopped.
A Whack of Fresh Arugula.
2-3 oz. Pecorino Romano Cheese, shaved.
Kosher Salt & Fresh Cracked Black Pepper.
What to Do:
Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees F & line an edged baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place the grapes on one half of prepared baking sheet adn the shallots on the other. Roast for 10 minutes, turn the grapes. Roast another 10 minutes, remove the grapes from the oven. If they're VERY juicy, you may need to drain some of the juice off the pan but they should be fine. Return shallots to the oven to continue roasting for a further 20 minutes or until tender. Allow shallots to cool for about 10 minutes before handling.
Chuck the shallots into your food processor. Add oil, vinegar, mustard, and season with salt and pepper. Puree until smooth. Taste. Add more seasoning if necessary.
Pour dressing into a mason jar to keep and stir in thyme. The dressing will be good in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Toss arugula with enough of the dressing to coat - get your hands in there! They'll keep the lettuce from bruising. Be gentle.
Top with the grapes and shaved cheese. Lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper. Serve.