This is a good warm-weather salad for when you don’t feel like cooking. If your walnuts are already toasted,* all you have to do to get this salad ready is some quick chopping.
I have many projects on my agenda as a new retiree by layoff. Go to Kentucky for our traditional Christmas in January: check. Pack up Christmas decorations: check. Host a lively discussion with the Best Book Group Ever: check (Necessary Lies by Diane Chamberlain, really good). Help pack up the life of my best friend for 30 years in three suitcases and a backpack and send her off to Australia to be deliriously happy: check (sniff). And relaunch my long-neglected food blog, which thanks to Maria Averion, has a pretty, fresh and professional redesign on my own domain: Check (yay).
This bread and soup make a wonderful combination, and not just visually. I’ve been making the split pea soup for years, based on the recipe in The New Basics by Sheila Lukins and Julee Rosso. I was saddened last year when Lukins died; she was a big influence on me and many other cooks, and I was hoping for more cookbooks from her. The bread recipe is from Whole Grain Breads by Machine or Hand by Beatrice Ojakangas. It’s a nice cookbook because it gives instructions for making the breads by hand, with a mixer or food processor or bread machine. I like to use the bread machine to mix it, then shape it myself and bake it in the oven. Those are the instructions I’ve provided.
Doesn’t look like your typical restaurant sweet and sour chicken, does it?