Zucchini Provencal ravioli with blue cheese; cucumber and carrot salad
Tonight we had to work a shift at the Food Coop at 6:00, so we had a quick meal of ravioli before we left. I bought the ravioli at The Ravioli Store (75 Sullivan Street) a few days ago. It's next to the Sullivan Street Bakery, and that's next to a Greek foods store that sells fresh made yogurt. Up the street a few blocks are Once Upon A Tart and Joe's Dairy, where they make their own fresh mozzarella. So Sullivan Street is one of my favorite streets in New York.
We hadn't tried this particular ravioli before. It had teeny bits of sun dried tomatoes that gave it a bit of kick, zucchini being one of the more shy, self-effacing vegetables. I poured olive oil and crumbled the last of yesterday's blue cheese over it. So the flavors were a little similar to yesterday's meal, but still delicious. The salty, pungent blue cheese and the tangy bits of tomato actually brought out the sweetness in the zucchini. I prefer to dress ravioli simply. When I add a real sauce I can hardly taste the ravioli filling, and then I might as well be eating the sauce over plain noodles.
While the ravioli boiled I made a quick salad out of my vegetable drawer remnants -- once large carrot and 3/4 of a cucumber. I sliced the cucumber and shredded the carrot. Then I poured my Usual Salad Dressing #1 over that and added some extra balsamic vinegar (ordinarily the dressing has about 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/4 balsamic, and a tablespoon of mustard). I expected it to be a typical lackluster leftover salad, but it was actually pretty good. I didn't get to eat it until after my shift at the coop.
Our food coop is hard core. You must be a member to shop there, and to be a member you must work a 2.75-hour shift every four weeks (I work with Jasper in the child care center while Lane stocks shelves). There are many, many rules. Sometimes we call it The People's Socialist Food Cult. But it's worth it. There's a great variety of quality produce, including a lot locally-grown and organic. You know it's spring when the fiddlehead ferns and garlic scrapes arrive. And there's bulk foods like nuts, dried fruits, and grains. Fantastic cheeses, though suffocating in plastic (who cares as long as you eat it soon after buying it). And the usual assortment of good you'll find at Whole Foods or Fresh Fields.
Two of the happiest days of my life were when they started selling 1) beer and 2) red meat. These were hotly contested decisions, with vegans and teetotalers objecting to every point of order. But The People spoke and we got our beer and beef. And this, dear readers, is why The People's Socialist Food Cult is Utopia.