THE "I JUST GOT BACK FROM ITALY AND AM NOW QUESTIONING MY LIFE DECISIONS" SALAD
I returned from a stint in Italy around 2 months ago. Since then, my life has changed pretty dramatically. Two days after my trip, donning a Florentine leather jacket, I called my manager to put in my 2 [which in reality ended up being 6] weeks notice. I quit my job. A job that I loved, one that inspired me, but one that also became a source of stress. I needed some time and space to breathe and figure out how I truly wanted to spend my time.
I believe that travel reveals the wonder of a world unfamiliar. One such "wonder" was the unfamiliar Italian a-careerist lifestyle and values. Not one Italian that I met along the way asked me what I did for a living. It was as if that story didn't really matter to them. Instead they wanted to learn about my family, where I've traveled to, and my culture. I discovered that the way in which an Italian gets to know a stranger involves telling a joke, winning them over with flirtations and charisma, and feeding them lots (and lots) of cheese and wine. Truly groundbreaking stuff.
Anyway, this lifestyle that I came to know and love called into question my own work values set- how work related stress percolated into my personal life, and how anxiety seemed to gnaw at me each morning upon rising. This is no way to live. After settling back into reality after my Italian sabbatical, I knew I had to make a change. For me that change involved healing, self care and lots and lots and lots of cooking.
Here's my salad inspired by the bustling streets of Milan:
- 1/2 cup of red grapes, halved
- 1/2 cup of black olives, slices
- 1/2 cup of pistachios, toasted
- 1/2 cup of parsley
- 1/2 cup of scallions
- 1/2 cup of mint
- 1.4 cup of goat cheese, cubed or crumbled
- 2 cups of arugula
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tbs. honey
- 2 tbs. dijon mustard
- 1 tsp. lemon zest
- 1 tbs. lemon juice
- 2 tbs. vinegar