I feel guilty about something. I’m not even sure why I feel guilty about this particular thing. I didn’t commit a crime, like a hit and run or insurance fraud. In fact, I hurt nothing and no one. I should NOT feel guilty at all.
But such is my nature: riddled with guilt and regret.
It all started when I picked up my CSA farm share this afternoon. I already felt guilty about that because I was SUPPOSED to pick it up yesterday at my set-in-stone-for-the-last-two-months time slot. Unfortunately, I was stuck in Philly on a work errand. Toby, my flexible farmer, graciously supplied my farm share this afternoon. I apologized profusely. And guiltily, of course.
Next stop was the farmers market to buy some eggs, cheese, and chicken sausages. I stopped by the produce stand to see the local offerings. I snagged some blueberries, green beans, and mushrooms. Then I spotted the red onions. Not local. Glancing to my left and to my right with shifty eyes, I saw no one staring or pointing at me. I put the non-local red onion in my basket. And bought it.
So you’d think I’d have buyer’s remorse. Honestly, I didn’t. I justified that red onion, considering it a staple like sugar or olive oil. The guilt worked its way out of my shoulders and I breathed a sigh of relief.
I made one more stop before heading home: the dreaded grocery store. I needed personal items like toilet paper and q-tips. As I was making my way through the aisles, I noticed the neat and enticing rows of salad dressing bottles. Old favorites like Hidden Valley Ranch and Wishbone Italian called my name. My local self-discipline kicked in and I pushed the thought out of my mind. Until I saw it.
Brianna’s Blush Wine Vinaigrette. My favorite salad dressing of all time. Impulsively I put it in my cart next to the q-tips.
You may be thinking, Who cares? It’s only salad dressing! You don’t understand. I like to make my own salad dressing with local yogurt and herbs. Brianna’s is from Texas. Texas!? I argued with myself to no avail. Ignoring the guilt, I scanned the bottle at self check- out. I swear the annoying machine said, “Not-on-your-locavore-diet vinaigrette, $3.49. You saved $.49 and gained a guilty conscience.”
At home, I unpacked my purchases, including the lovely items from my farm share. As I set colorful, tiny tomatoes and a bunch of basil on the counter, I had an epiphany.
Suddenly everything became clear. I was destined to make a summer salad with tomato, basil, red onion, and Texas salad dressing. The sweet and tangy taste of the vinaigrette was a perfect match for the candy-sweet tomatoes and fresh basil.
I still feel a little guilty, but I don’t regret it.
Guilt-Free Tomato, Basil, and Red Onion Summer Salad
1 pint cherry tomatoes, yellow and red, cut in half lengthwise
1 small red onion, diced
1 bunch fresh basil leaves, chiffonade into ribbons
1 – 2 tablespoons Brianna’s Blush Wine Vinaigrette, depending on how much dressing you like
Combine tomatoes, onion, basil, and vinaigrette together in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper to your desired taste. Enjoy guilt free and with no regrets, even if you eat the whole bowl by yourself.