I can’t say I never get homesick, which is funny because I’m not from the Bay Area, but I do feel like it is our adopted home. It is where The Professor and I met and where my baby was born, so when I think about the place I most identify with it would be there.
We really couldn’t have chosen a place more different than San Fransisco to move to—there is little in North Dakota that reminds me of home. But occasionally I get glimpses of my past life and remember how spoiled I’d become living in San Francisco. Gone are the days of never-ending Farmer’s Markets and fresh fish. Gone are the days of picking up a decent bottle of wine or going out to eat. Ahh, the good ‘ol days, when we had our choice of a hundred cheeses to choose from at the grocery store.
In Fargo last week I got one of those glimpses. Tucked in amongst the Navel oranges and limes were some mesh bags of Meyer lemons. “Oh, hello there. Remember me?” I heard them say. I snatched them up and thrust them in front of my lil’ one’s nose. “Smell this.” I said to her with enthusiasm that probably scared her more than anything.
Then I held them up to my own nose and for an instant their floral fragrance took me back to San Francisco where this time of year Meyer lemons are as common as carrots. I of course bought that bag of lemons and have savored them in salad dressing, iced tea, and pound cake (recipe forthcoming); squeezing out every last drop of juice and stripping every last piece of zest, because I left many things behind in San Francisco, most importantly my indifference to good food.
Spinach Salad with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette Recipe
Yes, to putting this dressing on everything, including your favorite Mexican salad! When fragrant Meyer lemons are in season they make the best vinaigrette.
- Yield: 4 1x
- 4 cups spinach, washed, dried and torn into bite-sized pieces
- 2 cups escarole, washed, dried and torn into bite-sized pieces
- 6 button or Cremini mushrooms, stems trimmed and thinly sliced
- 1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons Meyer lemon juice, or regular lemon juice
- 1 small clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
- Combine spinach, escarole, mushrooms, and celery in a large salad bowl.
- Combine oil, lemon juice, garlic, mustard and a good-sized pinch of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake vigorously to combine. Drizzle half the dressing over the salad, toss and add more if necessary. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if desired.