10/09/2014 12:44 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Don't Worry Mamma, Tonight I'm Cleaning Out My Closet


It took me about a week to figure out this was a zucchini. Whoops. I really should have noticed that back in July. But life just gets so busy, you know? Plus, what if it had been a science experiment for one of my daughter's classes? I'd just feel terrible had I thrown it away. So get off my case, okay?

This month marks the celebration of the Jewish New Year. We eat apples and honey for a sweet year. We eat pomegranates because they are plentiful and have 613 seeds inside (just like the number of commandments). It's a holiday of rebirth, renewal, and a chance to mentally "clean out our closets" (said in my best Eminem). So, I did. And that's when I discovered the zucchini. It made me stop and think that I've really let things sit and fester for quite some time. It was a sign. I'm not sure for what, but it had to be a sign.

Maybe it means if you let something sit long enough unattended it will morph into something you don't even recognize anymore. Like relationships. Pretty deep, huh? Or maybe it means if you try to hide something in the back of your closet it will eventually come back to haunt you in the form of a rancid zucchini and the sound of a ram's horn blasting in your ear will remind you it's time to clean it out. But most likely it means that anything and everything in every religion somehow turns into a symbol of guilt no matter how you discover it. Yeah, that's probably it.

Don't you just love guilt? It follows me wherever I go. It doesn't matter what religion you practice either. It's just guilt coupled with different food. Jewish guilt is followed by brisket and potatoes and matzah ball soup. Christian guilt is followed by ham. Islamic guilt is followed by some sort of eggplant and chick pea concoction. So basically we're all in this together.

And we should all take this opportunity to clean out our closets, donate stuff to Goodwill, mend relationships that have been left unattended, and make zucchini things before they go bad.

But back to the food...

I love this salad because it brings together all of the things you wouldn't normally put in salads. Red pears. Pomegranate seeds. Dried cranberries. The reds look amazing with crisp greens, especially arugula. And the tangy dressing offsets the sweetness to remind you that no matter how sweet you are, you're still a bitch. I'm kidding. Not really. Depends who you ask. But basically it's a party in your mouth.

Happy New Year to all who celebrate. May your year be as guilt-free as possible. And it goes without saying that it should always filled with good food to be shared by all religions alike.


Tangy Fall Salad with Fall Things


  • package of mixed greens
  • one pomegranate
  • dried cranberries
  • sliced red pear
  • roll of goat cheese
  • Panko crumbs
  • olive oil
  • one egg

For Dressing:

  • 2 squirts Dijon mustard
  • few splashes sherry vinegar
  • few splashes apple cider vinegar
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • pinch Kosher salt
  • sprinkle pepper
  1. mix dressing and chill in fridge.
  2. toss greens with pomegranate seeds, cranberries and sliced pear. (*hint - cut the pomegranate and remove the seeds in a bowl of ice water. The seeds will sink to the bottom and the junky stuff will float to the top!)
  3. toss dressing with salad immediately before serving.
  4. slice goat cheese and dip in (beaten) egg.
  5. dip goat cheese in panko crumbs.
  6. saute on medium in a little olive oil until crumbs are slightly toasted.
  7. serve on top of salad.