Monday, June 24, 2013

Fashionably Dressed Salads

John Anthony Ciardi (June 24, 1916 – March 30, 1986) was an American poet, translator, and etymologist. While primarily known as a poet, he also translated Dante's Divine Comedy, wrote several volumes of children's poetry, pursued etymology, contributed to the Saturday Review as a columnist and long-time poetry editor, and directed the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference in Vermont. 
In 1959, Ciardi published a book on how to read, write, and teach poetry "How Does a Poem Mean?" which has proven to be among one of the most used books of its kind in high school and in college. 
At the peak of his popularity in the early 1960s, Ciardi also had a network television program on CBS. Ciardi's impact on poetry is perhaps best measured through the younger poets whom he influenced as a teacher.
Ciardi rote volumes of poems for children and adults. "The River is a Piece of Sky" is from his first book of poems for children The Reason for the Pelican published in 1959.

The River Is a Piece of Sky
by John Ciardi

From the top of a bridge 
The river below
Is a piece of sky-

Until you throw
A penny in
Or a cockleshell
Or a pebble or two
Or a bicycle bell 
Or a cobblestone
Or a fat man's cane

And then you can see
It's a river again.  

The difference you'll see
When you drop a penny:
The river has splashes,
The sky hasn't any. 
Midwest Living April 2013 posted a yogurt recipe that I am filing under Go Greek. The dressing is creamy, low in fat and a healthy way to top a chicken or shrimp salad or even use as a drizzle over grilled or steamed asparagus. 

Buttermilk Pesto Dressing
Cook's note: Chill at least two hours
Makes 1 cup
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup fat free plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup light mayo or light Miracle Whip
  • 4 tsp. prepared pesto
  • 1/4 tsp. ground pepper

Whisk together, cover and chill at least 2 hours-whisk before serving

This dressing works great as a side using cold cooked potatoes.

Strawberry Balsamic Dressing
Cook's notes: This recipe deserves consideration with its Vitamin C, creamy texture and sweet tangy taste. The dressing works nicely with a chicken breast served over mixed green, avocado slices and walnuts. Makes 1-3/4 cups
Midwest Living April 2013 
  • 2 cups fresh strawberries chopped(frozen strawberries thawed can also be used)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 TB. balsamic vinegar plus 1 tsp.
  • 1 TB. brown sugar
  •  1/4 tsp. kosher salt 
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper

  • Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend till smooth
  • Store covered in refrigerator up to 3 days
  • Whisk before serving  
This salad was made with romaine, chopped pieces of chicken, green onion, sliced cucumbers and strawberries. The dressing was drizzled over the top.  It's a light refreshing salad for summer.

Bon Appetit!

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