limb by limb i am peeling myself off of the couch and ending the post-eggsiswedding recovery and rehydration process. it took a solid few days but that’s ok because i had game of thrones to catch up on (which was broken up by the pilot of santa clarita diet, um… do we need to talk about this?) as of this weekend i officially have the following things: a very tall eggbro, experience making 320 wedding cake servings, and a beginner level proficiency for turning small talk into medium talk. i learned about zady and what it’s like studying feminism in texas, and then at the pizza place we invented a new revolutionary diet that is going to blow all of your minds (either for its brilliance or stupidity… celeste, would you like to take the lead on this one?). i am extremely excited to see all of celeste’s photos that she took over the weekend and to tell you about how the cake building went, but for now here is a sneak peek and here is another one.
today we are talking about summer grill parties!
i was raised in a mayo-free household. i always thought that this was because i was raised in the 90s, and in the 90s, fat was evil. but then this weekend my mom told me that it was actually because “jews don’t eat mayonnaise unless it’s in whitefish salad or egg salad,” (two things that i absolutely did not eat when i was little). that lead to a quick trip down an internet rabbit hole that more or less confirmed this (i’ll let you get into it here on google). and while as an adult i now love mayo enough to qualify to be the captain of #teammayo, i still have a small amount of guilt whenever i eat macaroni salad or potato salad or coleslaw, the kind of mayonnaise-y things that i most often encountered when i was little since in those days the only times i’d see mayo were at other people’s houses, for barbecues and grill parties. it was an unwritten rule that stoopie and i were not to eat the salads at these parties. so similarly to how i inherited a portion of my mom’s aversion to creamy soups, i also inherited this macaroni salad guilt. which doesn’t stop me from eating it (eggbro’s aunt made a great one for the rehearsal dinner, and in january i learned the magic of the rainbow drive-in plate lunch) but it does encourage some sort of moderation and is also most certainly the reason for my relief re: all of these new pasta salads and potato salads i keep seeing around the internet that have swapped out mayo for olive oil.
i love this trend, not just because of my reduced guilt, but also because i feel like there’s more creativity to be had with it. mayo-y salads showcase mayo and modesty and comfort, olive oil-y salads showcase brightness and flavor. they encourage fresh herbs and vegetables and are accommodating to loud spices. i like that their colors get shinier when they’re dressed. and it’s bathing suit season. olive oil just seems more appropriate for that.
so we had a dinner about it! my friends at california olive ranch sent over some of their olive oil and a few weeks ago when i had family in town, we picked radishes and herbs from the garden and then had a lovely feast in our backyard. cats and dogs were invited. bugs were not. here was our menu:
rainbow radishes // we can’t get them anywhere in town so we grew our own and they’re finally up! we served them with butter, olive oil, and flaky salt.
maureen’s lebanese potato salad with lemon and mint // i love this potato salad, i’ve made it multiple times. it is so bright and fresh.
ottolenghi’s pasta salad with spring vegetables and tomatoes // we used farro instead of pasta and it was fantastic!
hot dogs with moroccan carrot slaw and jerusalem bagel buns // see below!
chocolate frosted olive oil blondies // duhhhhh
ok, about these hot dogs: i love a crunchy fresh slaw on my dog. and herbs and cucumbers and onions and yes, this is essentially a salad on a hot dog so eat 12 because they’re basically healthy. this slaw is inspired by moroccan carrot salad which is the best part of any salatim spread. typically moroccan carrot salad uses cooked carrots that are chopped into coins, but to preserve some crunch, this slaw uses raw shredded carrots. they’re tossed with smoky harissa, nutty arbosana olive oil, a couple of chopped dates for sweetness, and lots of garlic. it’s wonderful on its own but its sweet smokiness goes so well with the sweet smokiness of a hot dog that it is something you’ll definitely want to do. you can totes use a veggie dog. you cannot use a carrot dog. that’s too meta. and if you don’t have a good hot dog bun source, go ahead and make some fluffy ones from scratch out of jerusalem bagel dough.
hot dogs with moroccan carrot slaw on jerusalem bagel buns
makes about 4 cups of slaw, enough to top about 12 hot dogs
for the slaw:
2 tb fresh lemon juice
2 tb california olive ranch arbosana extra virgin olive oil
2 tb harissa
2 large cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp kosher salt
4 large carrots, shredded
1/2 bunch parsley, finely chopped
4 medjool dates, pitted and finely chopped
jerusalem bagel buns (use this recipe but instead of shaping 6 large bagels, shape 12 long buns)
hot dogs, veggie or meaty
thinly sliced cucumbers and onions
fresh mint leaves
to make the slaw, in a large bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, harissa, garlic, cumin, salt, and a few turns of pepper. add the carrots, parsley (reserving a small handful), and dates and toss to combine. cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (this can be made a day ahead). top with remaining parsley before serving.
to serve, top a hot dog with the carrot slaw, a few slices of cucumber and onion, a handful of fresh mint, and a drizzle of mayo, if desired. enjoy!