This is the sixth entry in my Writers Eat series. I'm asking writers I admire to share their favorite recipes and/or foods here on Plums in the Icebox. The food will sometimes tie in with the writer's work, but sometimes not. If you're a writer and you're interested in participating, let me know!
This salad comes to us by way of my very best poet friend in the whole wide world, Robert Alan Wendeborn (that's his writing name, he's known to most people as Robbie, or frequently @rawbbie).
Robbie and I attended NMSU together, and we lived about fifty feet from each other for our last year of graduate school. I introduced him at his student reading, and he introduced me at mine. We've eaten tons of meals together, smoked tons of cigarettes together (when I still smoked), drank tons of beers together (when I still drank beer, thanks GLUTEN) and read pages upon pages of each other's work. He's a badass, bleeding heart poet; Robbie's poems are all veins and lips and and surreal images, vulnerable and conversational and happening right now, on you, in you and to you. Read these poems in the recent issue of Sink Review, excerpted from Robbie's book,The Same Blank Target.
We also cowrote a now-defunct grad school food blog, Master of Fine Eats. His love of sardines is well-documented over there, and sardines make another appearance in this recipe, Popeye Salad. And coincidentally, one of my favorite lit-food blogs, Eat This Poem, featured a Sardine and White Bean Salad Recipe written after Robbie's all-time favorite poet, Frank O'Hara. So much sardine serendipity. I haven't even actually eaten a sardine since...I was maybe five years old. So this recipe is going straight into my to make pile. Well, it's not so much of a pile as a growing category in Evernote, but you get the idea.
Here's another poem of Robbie's you should read. It's about cooking with fur; let's just be glad that particular ingredient only exists in poemland and not in Plums in the Icebox land. Now, onto Popeye Salad, which looks easy, healthy and tasty, exactly the way both Robbie and I like to cook.
Robbie says: Popeye Salad was named as I was writing this recipe out, otherwise I'd have included sweet peas, which would be so so so good.
1 container or huge handful of arugula
2. Mix 4-6 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, 2 tablespoons honey, 2 tablespoons fancy mustard, lemon juice (these are all approx. measures; you want about 3/4 of a cup+/- 1/4 cup; if you like more dressing, you might need to add a little bit of everything) in a small bowl or jar. Stir vigorously, until the mixture is kinda thick. Add salt, pepper and hot sauce to taste (I used A LOT of pepper, a medium amount of salt, and just a dash of hot sauce).