I looked out the window, trying to scope out the shapes of my friends. And there they were, huddled in the rain under the awning of the neighbouring building, trying in vain to find my name on the wrong intercom list.
"You're in the wrong building!" I called out, laughing. "Try again."
I couldn't go downstairs to open the door. I had berry salad with red onions, arugula, nuts and pomegranate arils sitting on the counter... And leaving that kind of thing alone just won't do.
Danielle and Aliea were some of the first guests to visit my apartment in its new, 'single girl' iteration. I am not sure whether they expected back issues of Cosmopolitan to be piled in the living room, empty wine bottles to fill my garbage bin, or a papier mache statue made out of used tissues to sit at my bedside.
"Your place feels different. There is a different energy here... a better one," Danielle mused, her delicate eyebrows rising slightly in surprise.
I looked around me - at the table with the knitting on it, the carefully laid out dinner table that's been getting more and more use in recent months, at the cat curled up comfortably in the grey POÄNG armchair. At the pile of books on the table, none of them dusty law tomes that have never been opened. At the soft light streaming through the windows, bathing everything in that cool, blueish winter light.
"Yeah, I guess it does," I said, a careful smile creeping to my face.
This berry salad with red onions, arugula, nuts and pomegranate arils is a riff on a salad I have been eating a lot lately. The trifecta at its base involves greens, berries and nuts - everything is changeable, and nothing is sacred. As befitting this 'single girl' life, I can never count on any ingredients to be in my fridge at a given time - or on having the time to process or cook those ingredients. In the absence of time and stability, I find comfort in the sweet taste of berries exploding in my mouth, in the interplay between crunchy nuts and soft, delicate greens, in the ease with which it all comes together.
You can use any berries you have on hand, though I am a fan of blackberries in fall and winter. Their tart, slightly rough flavour goes well with mounds of snow or torrential rain showers, at least in my mind. For these photos I had roasted peanuts on hand, but pistachios are my favourite, while almonds are the most economical and easily available option. The green I love the most here is arugula, though a spring mix also works well. Basically, this berry salad provides a palette, but it is up to you to choose the colours.
"Well, enough chatting. Let's eat," I said, gesturing for my friends to sit themselves down at my 'single girl' table.
And I wait until after the salad is done to tell them that maybe, I am not so single anymore. But that's a story for another day, and another salad altogether.
Berry salad with red onions, arugula, nuts and pomegranate arils
- 1 package arugula or another green mix of your choice
- 1 package blackberries or other berries of your choice
- ½ onion sliced
- Arils of ½ a pomegranate
- ¼ cup nuts of your choice chopped and toasted - pistachios, almonds or peanuts are my favourites
- 4 TBs olive oil
- 2 TBs white wine vinegar or raspberry vinegar
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon mustard
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Combine olive oil, vinegar, honey, mustard, salt and pepper in a jar, and shake until well combined.
- In a large bowl, layer remaining salad ingredients. Drizzle with dressing, and mix well to combine. Serve immediately.