Much like my father, I am a creature of habit. I wake up early, exercise, shower, eat breakfast; same thing every day, almost without fail. On Saturday mornings I go grocery shopping, first thing before the store gets crazy, so that I can browse comfortably without having to navigate the crowds or jostle for a spot in line. This was my dad’s routine too. He and I would go together to Bread & Circus and spend the better part of the morning, slowly perusing each aisle. We would often couple this errand with a trip to Dewar’s, the local butcher in Newton Centre. These were blissful bonding moments, peering into the glass cases together, looking for the best cuts of meat or specialty cheeses.
This weekend, I did something crazy and neglected my regularly scheduled duties, stayed out late, spent nearly all of my waking hours with friends, and slept most of Sunday morning away. If you know me, you can imagine the frazzled state I found myself in this morning. I hadn’t vacuumed! I didn’t wash the towels! And worst of all, I hadn’t gone to the grocery store! Given this dire state of affairs, I left work early today, mostly to ensure that I got to the grocery before the riotous crowds. Lo and behold at 5:15 pm, the store was deserted. I didn’t have to fight for a cart, I didn’t have to elbow my way to the meat counter, I didn’t even have to wait in line! Perhaps the universe is affirming my decision to go rogue on my routine and perhaps (just maybe), I should do it a little more often.
And now, for the real news of the night. It’s not perfect and I would say it’s closer to medium, than medium rare, but I will gladly accept this small grilling victory. To accompany the steak, a salad tossed with cilantro pesto, enjoyed with my favorite dining partner, back from a weekend trip. Some routines are awfully nice.
Yellow Split Peas and Greens
From Super Natural Every Day by Heidi Swanson
1½ cups dried yellow split peas, rinsed and picked over
1 teaspoon fine sea salt, divided
1 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds), divided
1 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves and stems
⅓ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
3 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 small serrano chile, mostly seeded and deveined
⅔ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 cups mixed salad greens
1. In a large saucepan, bring 5 cups of water to a boil. Add the yellow split peas and simmer, uncovered, until tender, about 25 to 30 minutes. Drain and season with ¾ teaspoon salt.
2. Make the cilantro pesto: In a blender or food processor, combine ⅓ cup of the pepitas, the cilantro, Parmigiano-Reggiano, garlic, lemon juice, chile, ¼ teaspoon salt and a splash of olive oil and puree until smooth. Continue blending while gradually drizzling in the remaining olive oil until the pesto becomes a vibrant green sauce (makes about 1 cup).
3. Make the salad: In a large bowl, toss the cooked split peas and the remaining ⅔ cup of pepitas with two-thirds of the pesto. Continue tossing until everything is well coated. Add the salad greens, drizzle with some of the additional pesto to taste and gently toss again. Serve immediately.