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If you asked my mom, she would probably tell you I wasn’t a very adventurous eater when I was a child. I liked all of the things every other Midwestern child liked. Hot dogs and hamburgers, casseroles, and of course heavy doses of starches like pasta, bread, and potatoes. It’s what we ate. It’s what I loved – and I still do. My palate was small but well tested.
I always knew there was more out there.
There were more tastes, more ingredients, more flavors that were waiting for me in the cities and countries I visited in my imagination. The first time I tasted something new it was a glimpse into that world. I ate whatever I could, but always thought “fancy” food was where the real tastes were; the food you would have in big name restaurants and carried hefty price tags. But, along my journey I learned something.
Simple is best.
The food that has really stuck with me are the simple meals with minimal ingredients but bursting with flavor. They also carry a story, and every bite brings back that story, be it good or bad, funny or sad. This salad brings back one of those stories. It’s a simple story, for a simple dish. Sitting in a restaurant in Morocco, with my dad and my little sister.
We ate the same kind of tajine for days and the only reprieve I had was the variety in the salads offered. Even though it was almost 10 years ago now, I still see us sitting at that table and eating this with fresh bread. I smile because it makes me think of this very special time I had with my dad (don’t worry he’s still with us – we just don’t live nearby). He’s always made me laugh, and even when the most difficult circumstances were brought up, he offered whatever he could, a hug, a comforting thought, or just a phone call. Simple things.