As some of you may know, Elspeth and I just went on a fabulous road trip. I flew to Seattle, we rented a car, and we drove back to Minnesota, meandering through Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, the Black Hills, and the Badlands (also a National Park) along the way. We slept in a tent all but one night (we splurged on a bed and breakfast in Douglas, Wyoming - which may, as it happens, have the saddest downtown in the western United States), and not even one bear tried to eat us. Growing up in Maine, I suspect we didn't imagine that in 2010, driving between the two cities that we feel so comfortable in would involve seeing most of Washington, some of Idaho and Montana, most of Wyoming and South Dakota, and a pretty serious chunk of Minnesota, as well. There are a lot of mountains along the way, and deserts, too. There are cowboys and rodeos and some rolling plant that may have been tumbleweed. There are some particularly grand rivers, and a whole lot of empty fields. I highly recommend the route that we took (which was cleverly planned, down to the very last detail, by Elspeth!).
We ate well along the way (Elspeth brought along homemade chili, and pasta, and risotto(!!) for campsite dinners), and our only fast food stop was a "lunch supplement" as we called it, at an Arby's in central Wyoming on Thursday. In South Dakota on Saturday morning, we ate sourdough pancakes from a recipe that claimed to use a sourdough starter from frontier times, "over a hundred years ago"! All the same, when we arrived in Saint Paul on Saturday night, we were hungry. We swung by the Seward Co-op to get a few essentials, and when we got home, I whipped up a quick dinner. Tortellini (cheese-filled, from the grocery store freezer), with garlic scape pesto (homemade, and stored in my freezer... I'll have to blog about that recipe later), and lots of shredded parmesan stirred in.
What we really wanted, though, after driving 2500+ hours in 6 days, was a salad.
Fresh greens, with an heirloom tomato sliced on top, dressed with an easy and delicious recipe - it's one I wrote down a few years ago from that Everyday Italian show on the Food Network, and as you can see here, I wrote it on cute recipe cards that Elspeth decorated for me as a gift one year for Christmas. As you can also see here, I make this dressing often enough that there's a smudge on the recipe card!
In case you can't quite see it: that is 4 Tbsp of white vinegar, 2 Tbsp of dijon mustard, 2/3 cup of olive oil, and 1 tsp oregano. In this case, I put in a pinch of dried oregano and a pinch of dried basil. And it's true - the recipe makes plenty of dressing. I have a small jar of it in the refrigerator now, which will last through the week!