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maura @ 9:10 pm

What is it about this summer? I’m feeling very blag-challenged lately. Maybe it’s because I’ve been spending too much time with those hip new kids, facebook + twitter. But I’m taking a break from them this week and it’s all about YOU, blag. I still love you best.

Last night, for a variety of reasons, there wasn’t much food in the house to pack for my lunch. So I cooked something! Well, it’s a cold salad, so nothing was actually cooked. But I chopped things up and mixed them together in the proportions Jonathan dictated to me. And there’s enough for at least 3 days of lunch, so I feel victorious.

We’ll call this one: Johnny’s Take on Prune‘s Black-Eyed Pea Salad (thank you Gabrielle Hamilton!)

1. Open a can of black-eyed peas, rinse them just a little bit, and dump into a big metal bowl.

2. Grab a bag of frozen corn, dump it into a colander and rinse with hot water to defrost them. Dump into big metal bowl.

3. Wash and halve a container of cherry or grape tomatoes and, you guessed it, into the bowl they go.

4. Really you should dice a nice-sized shallot at this point, but we didn’t have any so we subbed in a few scallions. Wash, chop, put in bowl.

5. Fresh parsley: wash and ask your sous-chef to chop them (I hate chopping! It is at least 80% of the reason I don’t like to cook). You can put them in the bowl, though.

6. Secret ingredient: gherkins! Any size gherkin pickle will do. Sometimes we use cornichons, but last night we only had the big guys. Roughly chop at least 3 big pickles — it will look like a lot but trust me, you need them!

7. Secret ingredient #2: gherkin juice! Put the lid on the jar and shake it up, then splash a few good pours into the bowl. How much? Well, you don’t want it to be soupy (and the tomatoes will shed water too), but there should be some liquid in the bottom of the bowl.

8. Pour some olive oil over the whole mess. Jonathan had me count to 20, but I counted fast. Remember that olive oil is good for you!

9. Salt + pepper to taste. Mix it all up and taste it. If you need to add more salt the next night, that’s okay.

10. Use the spoon to push everything down to the bottom of the bowl so it call all marinate together overnight. Mmmm, mingly flavors!

Voila! The perfect summer lunch, no hot stove required. Have a thick slice of sourdough bread with roquefort alongside, or even mix in couscous to make a complete meal.

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