Just to be clear, this isn’t — as one might think — last Friday’s bento. I did make one, and I took a picture, I just never got around to writing it up. I just figured since I was posting a bento mid-week anyway (*shock*) I might as well post that day’s lunch while I was at it. (And does it seem like a lot of my lunches are frighteningly yellow of late?)
At first glance, and certainly when I was putting it together, this bento felt like a cheat. Let’s cram leftovers into a box and call it bento! (Yes, I know that falls well within the definition of a bento. Shush.) My original intention for this lunch was that I would eat the slaw cold, then microwave the (leek & feta) tart, hence my feeling like a cheat. (In the past, I’ve explained that my personal interpretation on the bento thing is that it be a meal designed to be consumed at room temperature.)
Lest you think that my morning lunch-packing felt entirely like disappointment though, let me clarify that I was totally stoked to actually be able to use a lettuce leaf as an edible divider for once. That’s right folks: we actually have lettuce in the house! And our CSA hasn’t even started yet! Shocking!!
Anyway, so how did it work out? Surprise! The slaw*, which was this one by the way, was fantastic. The only thing I found myself wishing for was the occasional burst of sweetness (maybe peas next time?) amid the spicy crunch. …and then the heat got the best of me**, and despite my having intended to eat it warm, I started in on the tart, just for some relief, and oh! It was perfect. I mean, the tart is definitely tastier warm, but it was alright at room temperature, and the sweetness of the leeks was just what was needed as a counterbalance to the slaw’s bite. So good. (And it turns out I didn’t cheat after all!)
Quick note about the tart: I have made it before (it was this one) but this time instead of puff pastry, I used some rye pastry dough that was languishing in the fridge. Aside from not being as sturdy, I honestly didn’t notice much of a difference.
In other news: May flowers!
* About that slaw — I highly recommend it. As a slaw-hater, I was pretty excited to try something that wasn’t vinegar- or mayo-based and even The Boy, a confirmed cabbage-hater***, admitted it was pretty tasty: victory! My only comment? Uh, maybe tone down the chilies a little. I halved the recipe, added some shredded carrots, used one serrano, and seriously could not eat this without stirring in a spoonful (ahem, or more) of yoghourt. But aside from the burniness? Delicious.
** Office workers! If you are freezing in your over-air-conditioned office environments, may I strongly suggest packing something spicy as all get-out in your lunch? I’m all for trying to keep warm via emergency sweaters and endless cups of tea, but by the time I got to the end of my slaw, I was nearly sweating. A welcome change in my frozen workplace!
*** Why, you might be asking, would I keep trying to make coleslaw if I hate it and The Boy hates cabbage? I think this falls into the “maybe I just hate it because I’ve never had it done right” thinking that I keep applying to vegetables I don’t like. (See also: squash, eggplant.) It drives The Boy slightly bonkers, but he’s a very good sport about it.