Warm Liver & Toasted Cashew Salad
So yesterday, I got to step way out of my comfort zone.
And I mean, way, way out. As in a gazillion miles out.
I had to face my profound fear of heights and install the Christmas lights on my house. Yes, so soon. I decided that this year, if I was gonna have to do this all by my lonesome, at least I wouldn’t freeze my butt doing it.
Besides, it’s only 6 more weeks before I get to light them! 😉
But seriously, I think that, from now on, my Christmas lights will always get put up this early. It was so much more agreeable being out there in jeans and a simple t-shirt as opposed to wearing a thick winter jacket, hat and gloves, teeth chattering, drinking cup of tea over cup of tea in an effort to keep warm. Mind you, yesterday was exceptionally warm for the season, but still. Never again will I be doing this after the temperature has dropped below zero.
There’s still the matter of the actual Christmas decorations, but I’m afraid these will have to wait. I think the neighbors would see me as some kind of a crazed lunatic if I was to start putting up shiny garlands and ribbons and wreaths right away. Guess there’s no avoiding the sub-zero temperatures for that one.
But anyway, back to the installation of the lights.
It might not seem so bad looking at the picture like that, but some of those lights are over 25 feet above the ground, you know. Hey, that’s TWENTY-FIVE feet! You almost need a helicopter to get to that kind of altitude! And I, as in me, yours truly, had to climb that high up the ladder in order to get the job done. There was no avoiding it.
It wasn’t easy, let me tell you. I had to talk to myself, breathe, stay calm and take baby steps. Baby steps put the ladder against the wall. Baby steps expand the ladder a little further up. Baby steps climb up the ladder. Baby steps take a breather. Baby steps resume climbing. Baby steps grab a plastic hook. Baby steps slowly reach for lights… You get the idea! (Ever seen the movie What About Bob? If you have, then I’m sure you get the allusion. If you haven’t, you absolutely MUST remedy that!)
But I did it…
I DID IT!!!
I was pretty much shaking like a leaf when I was done and the neighbors probably had a very good laugh if looking at me because I was trying to shorten the ladder and it stubbornly refused to cooperate with my clumsy shaky hands. I ended up swinging a 20 feet ladder up in the air, horizontally, diagonally and vertically, until I eventually managed to land it on the ground and shorten it to a more manageable size.
Three of my poor innocent nails fell victim to the process, but no serious harm was otherwise inflicted to any other objects in my immediate proximity, animate or not. Although I’m sure Sally got real scared on numerous occasions, as the ladder got way too close to comfort.
Pfft. It might not have been pretty but I have to admit that, at the end of the day, I felt particularly proud of myself.
So why am I telling you all this?
Today’s recipe is sort of in line with that story. Liver still isn’t exactly part of my ultimate comfort zone.
I have learned to like it, but it’s still not a natural food choice for me. I still have to argue with my brains whenever I choose to make some.
Good thing is I usually take the win and ultimately feel very happy and satisfied with my decision to push my limits once the dish makes it to the table.
Had I systematically refused to ever step out of my comfort zone, chances are I still wouldn’t be eating liver today.
And my house would not be illuminated by thousands of tiny little white lights this Christmas…
How ’bout you? Will you step out of your comfort zone and try this salad?
It’s good, very good. And it’s got warm cashews in it, too!
- 350g beef or calf liver, sliced (4 slices)
- ¼ + ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 cups arugula
- 2-3 very thin slices red onion
- 1 small endive, shredded
- 1 ripe avocado, diced
- 75g raw cashews
- Cooking fat of your choice (ghee, lard or coconut oil preferred)
- The previous day, rinse the liver slices and put them to marinate overnight in ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- Rinse the beef liver slices under cold running water and pat them real dry; season liberally with salt and pepper.
- Place a heavy bottomed skillet (cast iron preferred) with one or two tablespoons of cooking fat to heat over high heat.
- When the pan is really nice and hot, add the liver slices and sear for about 45 seconds to one minute per side, just long enough for them to get a beautiful dark brown and crispy exterior but remain slightly pink on the interior.
- Remove the liver slices to a plate and deglaze the pan with ¼ cup balsamic vinegar. Let the vinegar reduce by about half, which should take approximately 30 seconds. Remove from heat.
- Preheat a few tablespoons of cooking fat in a small skillet over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot enough, add the cashews and toss them around until they take a nice golden coloration all around. Sprinkle with salt and set aside.
- Divide the arugula, endive, onion slices and avocado between two plates. Slice the liver on a diagonal and place that over the bed salad.
- Sprinkle with the warm toasted cashews and balsamic reduction.