I have a really big move coming up in September. I’m moving to Los Angeles, from Jerusalem. That means I’m moving 7579.8 miles. That’s not nothing.
That’s a 10-hour time difference.
That’s a 15-hour plane ride.
That’s a long way from my favorite market in the world.
A different language (at least I speak it).
The beach, not the desert.
A long way from my friends.
To be clear, I’m going because I want to – I’m starting a PhD in Jewish History. Not many people get to live out their dreams, but somehow it seems that I’m doing just that. (And luckily, my dream probably includes a lot of Israel in the future).
I’m starting to get nervous though. What if I can’t handle the work? What if I’m not creative enough? What if I can’t leave Israel?
I wish I were one those people who worked out or cleaned when they were nervous, but I’m unfortunately not. Instead, for one thing, all my weirdo food cravings come out. I eat huge pots of tomato sauce sans pasta. I buy bag after bag of peanuts and raisins until they make me sick. I need baked goods and chocolate and apples. I buy bottles of wine that I polish off too fast by myself. Then there’s the music. I tend to fixate on one or two songs, and I play the heck out of them. Literally, I listen to one song on repeat for hours. It merges into everything I do: my work in the morning, my Hebrew studies in the afternoon, my workout in the evening, tomato-sauce making, evening moments when all the lights are off and the windows are open and I can see the ridge of Jordan from my roof.
Anyway, let’s do this salad. Apricots are in season, and their sweetness is killing me. Yalla.
Summer Salad with Caramelized Onions, Goat Cheese, Sauteed Apricots, and Green Olives
-2 tbsp. butter or oil, plus a little more
-3 large onions, thinly sliced to about 1/4 of a inch thick
-2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
-1 tbsp. brown sugar
-6-8 apricots, pitted and halved
-green olives, as many as you want
-chunks of goat cheese, as much as you want
-salt and pepper, to taste
Add the butter or oil and sliced onions to a heavy-bottomed pot. Set over a medium flame. Cover. Let cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to distribute the oil. After the onions are translucent and getting soft, add the balsamic vinegar and sugar. Combine, and uncover the pot. Cook the onions until caramelized and super soft, about 30 more minutes.
Once finished, transfer the onions to a medium-sized bowl, but don’t rinse the pot! Add the halved apricots to the same pot you cooked the onions in, which should still have some yummy drippings. Toss the apricots around in the fat, and set over a medium flame. Saute for about 6-7 minutes, flipping when necessary and adding more oil if necessary. About 4 minutes in, add the green olives. Remove the apricots and olives once after they have just blackened and blistered.
Add the apricots and olives to the onions. Stir in chunks of goat cheese. Salt and pepper to taste, and add a little olive oil if you’d like.