Lady is all dressed up for Halloween, but she looks rather sad. Weren’t dogs traditionally the symbol for melancholia? I have had that famous print by Albrecht Dürer hanging over my desk for many years, because I have always associated myself with the ‘melancholia’ humor. I’m often sitting like the figure in the print, contemplating life, the universe, and everything. That is one sad-looking dog in Dürer’s print. I’ve known plenty of happy dogs, however, and even Lady is known to smile… Besides handing out miniature chocolate bars to our neighborhood visitors, we’ll be watching Young Frankenstein.
Perhaps Lady’s sad because she can’t eat chocolate. I can, however, and I do tend to eat too much of it around this time of year. Oh well—to compensate for that, I like to serve a salad for dinner on Halloween, which allows me to eat extra candy. Keep this vegetarian to keep your calories at a minimum, or throw some cooked meat and/or cheese on it, as suggested. Maybe you need extra protein to deal with all of your trick-or-treaters.
- 4-5 cups trimmed watercress *
- ¼ cup walnut oil
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- ½ tablespoon honey
- ½ tablespoon Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon Herbes de Provence
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon pepper
- ½ cup radishes, sliced very thinly
- ½ cup seedless cucumber, sliced very thinly (peeled or not)
- ½ cup peas (thawed, if using frozen)
- ¼ cup fresh chives, minced
- 1 ounce lightly toasted walnut halves, chopped coarsely
Place the watercress in a large bowl. In a shaker jar with a tight lid, combine the oil, vinegar, honey, mustard, and seasonings. Shake until well combined. Mix 2 tablespoons dressing with the watercress and arrange on a platter. Arrange the radishes, cucumber slices, and peas in rows or some other artistic fashion. Sprinkle the chives and nuts all over, then pour the remaining dressing over all. Serve immediately. Not recommended as leftovers. Serves 4.
* Spinach, arugula, or other field greens can substitute—use one or a combination.
This will serve two as a main dish—add about 6 ounces of proteins (any variety of cooked and sliced or chopped meats and/or shredded or diced cheeses) and serve some bread or crackers on the side.