A Nicoise Salad in Winter, and The Rules

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Perhaps Will Shakespeare lived in Northern California and craved a salad in winter when he spoke of those days, green in judgment and cold in blood; or maybe I'm just projecting because, as recently as yesterday, I was talking about this salad I had made, borne of winter crops, which still I took to be a very-nearly-classic Salade Nicoise, but for the outrage of tomatoes in absentia, and it got me thinking: What, really, constitutes the One, True Thing, the Nicoise that casts its shadow on the wall?

The Accidental Vegetarian: Cooking Green

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Green Salad: Arugula, Green Zebra Tomato, Green PeppercornI've been thinking about cooking green. And no, I'm not pandering to my more aggressively environmentalist brethren, I'm talking about the color green, the shades of which the human eye is more sensitive to than any other part of the visible spectrum: The haughty, peacock green of my grandmother's emerald broach; the brooding, mossy green of the Russian River pooling under Wohler Bridge...

The Costco Report

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Love Soup with Chive OilThe Costco Report: A recurring, if episodic, column devoted to ferreting out the more promising offerings, as well as to warding off the worst of the hazards. This Week's Pick: Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, at about $7/liter.