Bresaola with Lettuce Leaves & Cucumber "Fries"

After a succession of great meals, I often find myself "food-ed" out. Roasted veal with chanterelles and garlic chips, which may have sounded like poetry the night before, suddenly becomes a meal I could do without. Not only does it seem like overkill for my stomach, it's a thought that's even too much for my mind to bear. But that doesn't mean that I don't want to eat at all. It's just that, during these phases, I prefer something more pared down. Pared down, down, down, stripped away of everything. 

For me, I could fare well with just a bed of lettuce leaves with a few slices of bresaola draped on top. (Believe it or not, this Italian air-dried salted beef is 98% fat free.) I like to add a few sprigs of dill for a bit of aromatics and tiny pinch of sea salt and pepper—skip the dressing. Not even a drop of olive oil. On the side, I'll have what I lovingly call "cucumber fries," which is made by cutting a couple of miniature cucumbers into long thin strips. Unlike french fries, they're refreshing and clean. On the other hand, like french fries, they're nice and crunchy!

Crunchy Vegetable Salad with Bresaola & Feta Cheese

The great thing about #singlegirldinners is that you discover new flavor combinations and textures just from working with what you've got on-hand. With this salad, there's crunchy, creamy, salty, herby, and just a bit of heat from the red onion. I threw this together last night while watching the presidential debate. I made a giant bowl of it.

2 cups of mesclun salad mix
1 cucumber
10 green beans
6 grape tomatoes
A few paper-thin slices of red onion, cut into half-moons
Crumbled feta cheese
Fresh dill
4 slices of bresaola (Italian air-dried cured beef)
1/4 of a lemon
Extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt
Black pepper


1.  Place the mesclun mix into a large bowl.

2. Slice the cucumbers into 1/2-inch rounds. Stack them on top of each other and slice them into long chunks. Two cuts should do it, as they should be a bit chunky and not too thin like matchsticks. Place in the salad bowl. (Depending on its size, you may not end up using all of the cucumber, in which case, snack on them as you assemble the salad.)

3. Gather the green beans into a bunch and chop into 1-inch pieces. Add to the bowl.

4. Lay the grape tomatoes on their side and slice into rounds. Throw them into the bowl too.

5. Layer the bresaola slices on top of each other and julienne into strips. Separate and gently arrange them on top of the salad. Scatter the red onion slices along with it.

6. Sprinkle the crumbled feta on top and snip the fresh dill over the bowl.

7. Crush a few pinches of sea salt on top and give it a nice shower of freshly cracked black pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and a good squeeze of lemon juice. Toss.