One can certainly do much worse in life than being described as pleasant enough, just not memorable. If I am a kid, I know that is not the kind of person I aspire to be. If I am a story, I want to be compelling enough that my audience remembers me. If I am a dish, is there a place in the world for me if I am merely pleasant but not memorable?
When I read the head notes for Minted Zucchini Tagliatelle with Cucumbers and Lemon in Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table, I had high hopes for this vegan dish. Praise was heaped upon this salad created by Frédérick Grasser-Hermé, someone who is anything but forgettable. I looked forward to a mind blowing taste experience like Greenspan promised.
Perhaps the trompe l’oeil playfulness of thinly sliced zucchini does not stand the test of time. After all, it was over 15 years since this dish was first conceived. Raw ribbons of zucchini dressed simply with lemon juice and walnut oil mingling with cucumbers, red onion, mint, and lemon zest could have been the height of chic back then. The dressing gently wilted the stiff strips of raw summer squash into pliable ribbons. I enjoyed this lightly refreshing salad for sure. But it’s doubtful I will remember to make it again unless the occasion calls for preparing a feast for raw food enthusiasts.
Being a wall flower never holds much appeal to me. My tendency to attract attention can be deliberate or unintentional but the spotlight and me always somehow manage to meet. I did not give much thought to this quality until recently. It is an awkward situation once I realized those who are close to me do not necessarily relish attention the same way I do. Narcissism naturally comes to mind but that is not always the case. I long to connect to people around me. The connection is made when we are given a mutual opportunity to make an emotional reaction. I can wait around for such opportunities to arise or I can create those moments. To me, the answer is clear. I choose to create moments that can bring people together. I want to create shared memories with you.
I am excited to encounter a dish that surprises, impresses, and leaves me wanting more. Too bad this week’s recipe for French Fridays with Dorie falls short on delivering its promise. There’s always hope for next week, right? You can find the recipe on page 17 of the MORE Magazine slide show.