I was lured into the world of Jamie Oliver via The Naked Chef and 10 years on in my adoration of all things relevant to local food, sustainable eating and a slower approach to the way food is brought to the table he is one of the few cooks I continue to follow.
OK OK, I admit never once cooked anything out of my copy of Jamie's Dinners though each time I would grab the book I would carefully flick through the beautifully rustic photos of various dishes wanting to recreate one but the effort of translating either the ingredients or measurements into what I had on hand always seemed to be just too much. It wasn't really, in retrospect.
Lately I've watched bits and pieces of Jamie at Home, donned in wellies complete with rolled up jeans and a from the garden tousled look Jamie conducts the entire show as if he's set-up a kitchen right there in his garden shed with few kitchen gadgets in sight. The produce and meats are so freshly procured I spend the entire show staring at the screen with a 3rd eye look of confusion. However a few days ago I caught an episode whose theme was various salad greens. From my distant perch on the couch it looked like arugula, radish leaves, and other random mixed greens, a hunk of crusty day old bread crumbled, grilled Italian sausage, cucumber and a light oil/vinegar dressing. Or so I thought. Upon closer inspection what looked like sausage may instead have been some odd vegetable but who knows as signs lately have been pointing me to the nearest eye doctor given the gradual dimming of my once crystal clear vision. What I do know is watching him scoop and mix that salad reminded me of the joy of light eating in summer. I thrive on dinner salads and now with Winter in tow entree salads are a great way to have a quick, hearty, freshly made dinner or lunch.
Here's my knock-off Jamiesque rustic summer salad:
Saute or grilled veggie Italian Sausage (I like the Tofurky brand)
Toasted and crumbled bread of your choice (I like rye or sourdough)
Roughly chopped tomato
Roughly chopped cucumber
Extra virgin olive oil
Vinegar of choice or juice of fresh lemon
(I prefer to mix my oil and vinegar separately then add in)