Baby kale & frisée salad with figs, herbed goat-cheese & prosciutto in a olive oil & a balsamic reduction dressing. Fresh, simple and delicious; this salad is the perfect melody of flavours.
Whether you are new to my blog or a regular follower, chances are we share a love/hate relationship with the world-wide-web. While I don’t always enjoy its time-leeching powers, I do love that it provides a platform where I can openly share my recipes and stories. Like millions of others, I belong to a community of bloggers who are creative, one of a kind and often very supportive.
The blog world is a place where everyone has a story to tell and something special to offer. The power to share our creativity with the world is now more accessible than ever before and that’s truly extraordinary. We have the opportunity to publish pieces we are proud of, instead of waiting to be told whether or not our content is good enough by publishing houses. While I do strongly believe that receiving constructive criticism is very important in helping artists and writers improve upon their crafts, it must be that – constructive.
While I attended art school, I was thrilled to learn from other artists and to study new techniques to strengthen my abilities. For the most part, attending art school was a positive experience. In my later years, while writing my thesis and building my portfolio, I was lucky to have an array of outstanding and extraordinarily talented professors. However, in my earlier foundation years, too often I was witness to the darker side of art school.
During art critiques, I saw how some instructors belittled students and their creations in front of the class – creations which had hours upon hours invested; often fuelled by heavy, vulnerable emotions and touching personal experiences.
For those unfamiliar with what a critique is suppose to look like, it is a discussion period with the intention to give constructive and positive feedback to the artist. It is meant to help foster artists and writers as thinkers, problem solvers and creators. I can still clearly recall a particular incidence where an instructor purposely tore a student’s drawing, and then declared it aloud as amateur garbage. Immediately an uncomfortable feeling swept over the class.
The brightly burning candle had been snuffed.
Like many of my peers, I had worked incredibly hard to get into this school and was determined get through my foundation year successfully. It was a well known fact that many didn’t pass or survive the pressure of year one. So, for one full and long term, I impatiently put up with this short-tempered, power-hungry bully. Much like the rest of the students, I was shocked and appalled by his bad behaviour. But worst of all, I went home most evenings feeling ashamed that none of us had stood up to him. Maybe it was the shock, or the fear that he’d turn on the outspoken which prevented us.
The most upsetting part about experiences like the one I’ve shared, is that I allowed the remainder of my days at art school to be hindered. I no longer was the open book when it came down to expressing myself through my art. Instead I started tailoring my art and content based upon what I knew my instructors supported or favoured. I stopped being honest with myself and abandoned my values.
From what I’ve heard, this particular person is no longer an instructor with the school. I often wish I could go back to my young, 18-year old self and do things differently. I now know that the school would have stood by my side. I never had to sensor myself or my art.
What I’ve learnt from this is that your creativity is too valuable to be limited by the fear that someone out there may not like you or your art/message. Let me correct that, there will always be someone who is overly critical or even hateful. Simply, you can’t please everyone.
Despite what some critics think, you most certainly CAN make friends with salad. And in the blog world, even hundreds… thousands… of new friends. The odds are that you will always make more friends when you put yourself and your craft out in the open, rather than your creativity away.
Fresh Baby Kale & Frisée Salad with ~ Figs, Herbed Goat Cheese & Prosciutto in a Olive Oil & a Balsamic Reduction
Prep Time: 10 minutes Serves: 4 (sides) Author: Milk & Marigolds
8 fresh figs, horizontally sliced
70g of soft herbed goat’s milk cheese
4-5 slices of prosciutto (gluten-free)
1 head of frisée lettuce
145g (5 oz.) of organic baby kale (the baby variety is milder and much less bitter than its parent)
½ cup of walnuts or pecans (optional)
½ cup of balsamic vinegar
extra virgin olive oil to taste
freshly cracked pepper to taste
1. Wash and dry kale, frisée and figs. Slice figs in half. Crumble goat cheese.
2. Place ½ a cup of balsamic vinegar in a pan at medium heat. Stir until it begins to thicken. This should only take 3 – 4 minutes.
3. Add a mixture of the kale and frisee on each plate along with the goat cheese, prosciutto, figs and nuts.
4. Drizzle the balsamic vinegar over the salad and some olive oil. Add cracked pepper to taste.
5. Enjoy with a nice piece of gluten-free crusty bread along with olive oil for dipping.
Copyright © 2014. Milk & Marigolds