I have a soft spot for November. Not just because its my birthday month, which does make it pretty special. Not because of Thanksgiving, even though a full day devoted to food and family is always a good thing.
I have a thing for November because its like the last night together with a great lover. You are hanging on to every moment of it, knowing that once its gone…Winter will set in. November days are shorter with the time change and again, we cling to each daylight moment and the dark arrives too soon. November leaves are a festival of warm colors that have us matching our clothes and moods to their vibrancy. Yet, they are delicate and flutter away from their strong trees with just a gentle breeze. Torn from their steady branches they spin free, a wild last ride. The end of the season. A change to come. There is something comforting about November for these reasons. That and pumpkin pie.
On Saturday, someone special and I took Sula for a long walk, embracing November, each other, the sunshine, the leaves, the air. November air has a musty cinnamon smell. I think its the leaves on the ground as they sigh their last. Shall I wax any more poetic tonite. Must be post-Birthday blues lol.
Anyway, after the walk, I made this salad for him. It is what I think November looks like on a plate. Its a version of the classic bistro fare, Salade Lyonnaise. I made it with arugula instead. Not much of a frisee fan. I used prosciutto bits rather than lardons. I added pear. I added a shiitake mushroom, cooked in the leftover fat from the prosciutto and egg pan. I put the goat cheese in the salad, rather than on a toast. Egg, yes – but Quail. Same classic dijon viniagrette.
It embodies the colors & textures of November. It has a crisp bite with the pear. The shiitake adds caramelly brown color, an earthy note & rich textural taste. The crispy fried prosciutto bits add crunch and a salty richness. The fried quail eggs are well, way better, than the traditional poached hen egg.
Its a pretty sexy salad really. Alot like November.