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What would you have made?

(post, David Silva)

primary-image, l

The situation: This week has been ferociously busy. I've been working non-stop, some nights until 1 AM. Because of this, I've been buying my meals. I have practically nothing in my fridge! This morning I tried to create a solution. I couldn't buy my lunch again, I just couldn't. This boy needed some home cookin' in SOME form! There were nick-nacks that had potential, so I opted to make a literal "What's in the Fridge" salad. This stemmed from my finding a treasure in my crisper drawer. I totally forgot I got 2-for-1 fennel bulbs. I used the first the day that I bought it. The second, was in the crisper. ("So THAT'S where it was ...")

What's in the fridge:
1 can of soda
Half eaten container of marinated mixed olives
Left over Matzoh (Why was THIS in the fridge?)
1 garlic clove
1 bag of shredded cheddar cheese (about 1/4 cup left)
One fennel bulb (Not gonna lie, we're all friends here... It was a couple weeks old.)
Baby Carrots (again, see parenthesis above.)
Fresh Mozzarella (bought the same day as the fennel. I've been savoring it in morsels since the purchase. I can't bear to cook with it - it tastes so good fresh!)

The solution: I looked up FENNEL in my "always go-to" cookbook, Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison. She has this great index of vegetables and lists what other items pair well with them. Fennel is unique, and this was obviously going to be the bulk of my salad. I had no idea (other than fennel) what to put in fennel salad. So, from that list, I gathered what I had, and made a salad of the following:

chopped fennel 
green olives
Olive OIl
sea salt
cracked pepper
(I would have totally thrown in a lemon here if only I had one.)

Ms. Madison's "pairing list" had had some cheeses listed. She mentioned parmesan, but I had none. I had only mozzarella which is SO different from parmesan! I was feeling daring and threw it in. I wanted some protein, and who doesn't love a little cheese? You know what? For restricted ingredients, the salad was not so bad! In fact, I might even make it again!

So anyone that would like to comment, and I hope that you fabulous Culinate-ers will, what would YOU have made with that list of ingredients? I'm so curious what others would have done!