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Shrek the Third, salad and potato wedges

March 23, 2012

Way back in the mists of time when I was a student at the much missed Dartington College of Arts (stupidly “relocated” to Falmouth), we used to eat salad and chips in the college canteen as the cheapest and nicest lunch option. This sounds like a simple meal, but there were often several different varieties of salad to be had and if you found the right order of putting them in the small bowl you were given to fill, you could have a substantial meal. The trick was to start with lettuce and then press some rice salad (in those days we didn’t have fancy things like cous cous) on top of that followed by some grated carrot and then possibly a pasta salad.  It could be topped with grated cheese and loose tomatoes if you were really careful. Some of the Theatre students used to make a real performance out of the process.

This evening I thought I’d relive the mixed salad experience. We had marinaded mushrooms and cauliflower, cous cous salad and mixed bean salad. And potato wedges.

Marinaded mushrooms and cauliflower is a variation on a theme –  put thinly sliced raw cauliflower, chopped mushrooms and herbs in a bowl and add some salad dressing and leave for an hour or so before eating.

Cous cous salad is dead easy – we didn’t make cous cous when I was a student. I don’t think it was that readily available – can’t have been or we’d have eaten it all the time. In a pan heat a tablespoon of oil, a teaspoon of sweet paprika, some chopped sun dried tomatoes, a dollop of tomato puree, some salt and pepper and  dried herbs and stir well. Then add about a cup of cous cous and one and a half cups of water,stir, bring to the boil then leave with the lid on the pan for at least 5 minutes. Fluff up with a fork and add some chopped cherry tomatoes and some chopped watercress.

Three bean salad: open and drain a can of mixed beans into a bowl, add half a block of chopped feta cheese and a red pepper, chopped, and slosh some salad dressing over it

This evening Arlo wanted a film night (we watched Shrek the Third – I’d forgotten how funny it is) – so we ate our selection of salads with potato wedges in front of the TV – something we rarely do because it’s too much of an effort. Took me right back to my student days –  except I didn’t have to cram everything into a small bowl. And I had to provide popcorn. And ice cream.

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