In downtown Krakow, laying midway between the place where I used to live and the historical centre of the city, there is a really nice café/eatery called Dynia. It was my boyfriend who took me there for the first time, and it has ever since become a favourite place where to meet with friends. The portions are big and honestly priced, the place is really cozy and the staff is friendly, so there is really not much more that can be asked of them. Plus, in the summer you can sit outside in the patio, which to me is eerily beautiful, because it is enclosed between old and crumpled houses that contrast so sharply with the nice décor of the café. This clash between shabby past and classy present is a recurrent feature in many of those young bars found in Krakow, something I used to love a lot when I was living there.
What I would often order at Dynia were their salads, creatively made up of an interesting selection of tastefully combined ingredients, seasonally picked, and nicely arranged on the plate and served. Inspired by those delicious salads and deep down missing my meetings with my Polish girlfriends there, I tried to get creative and recreate the feeling by preparing a salad that could well have been taken off their menu.
Last week on one of our days off diet we had a tacos night, and the following day I was left with a bunch of random vegetables. These random leftovers, that became the base of my Dynia-inspired salad, were:
To which I added the following items, not featured in the tacos party:
I started by arranging the rocket, forming a little mountain of that. On top of it I randomly distributed half avocado, diced. I cut the other half of it in long and sleek slices, and laid them on three sides of the “slopes” of my rocket mountain. I alternated the avocado slices with tomato slices. Then I sprinkled the corn here and there, and the crushed walnuts, which I had left to toast in the oven at 150°C for about 8 minutes. I put a half walnut on top of that.
Then I proceeded making the dressing: I thought I’d use another taco leftover: lime juice, combined with honey, salt and olive oil. In a little bowl I mixed a teaspoon of honey, two tablespoons of olive oil, one tablespoon of lime juice and a pinch of salt. The quantity of the honey can be adjusted depending on the type, if it’s a very sweet one or not. I sprinkled this dressing all over the salad, and finished off by shaving some parmigiano all over. The result was delicious.
While eating it I swear that for a moment I felt as if I had been sitting there, in the warm city air, sipping my large beer and waiting for my Polish friend to join me for lunch. And it hit me, how much I miss all of that sometimes.