Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Proposition 8 Bites Salad

My grandmother only had one rule we had to abide by while visiting her home. Try two bites of everything on your plate. While we were at her house we were allowed to climb the rafters, track mud wherever we chose, eat whole sugar cubes without brushing our teeth afterward, get lost in the woods for hours, we were free to do anything our little hearts desired, except, that is, refuse the mushy plate of bitter parsnips lurking ominously before us. My brothers and cousins came up with all sorts of elaborate schemes to circumnavigate their vegetable obligation, seriously, I am amazed my grandparents plumbing held up with all the carrots and peas getting flushed down the toilet.
This salad was inspired, in part, by today's California supreme court ruling to keep the ban on gay marriage. The whole thing is tremendously confusing to me. I was writing to a friend about it and she said that even though she is saddened by the news that gays and lesbians cannot marry in California, she is glad that the supreme court does not have the power to overrule the peoples vote. But what about human rights? What about civil rights? If the people wanted to ban sunlight to plants, water to the elderly, play to children, pizza to teenagers, would we abide? What mode of thinking does a person need to have to put their vote to deny a basic human right to another person? Because I believe in the goodness of humanity, I came up with two possible answers to this question 1) they simply do not identify gay people as being human and therefore cannot empathize with the fact our love is no different and 2) they do not identify marriage as a basic human right or need.
This got me to thinking, where in my own life do I discriminate? How can I take more risks in my life to ensure that I keep my own mind open. Naturally, I was pondering all this while walking around the produce aisle of the grocery store.
I decided to make a salad using local ingredients that I have passed over many times in the produce section because I am unfamiliar with them. I think is important for me to branch out from what I am used to and take risks in all areas of my life, and today I am starting with salad.
Imagine how the world would be different if everyone took two bites (metaphorically speaking of course) before they wrote an entire race, gender, sexual orientation, political view, or ethnicity off?

Here are two ingredients you may not recognize, but try them, they are good!
Sunchokes: they don't look pretty, but peel them down and they have a deliciously mild flavor and a delightful crunch.
Sorrel: all I can say is YUM!! This herb/green has a lemony tang that is milder when the leaves are young. The flavor reminds me of eating clovers from the backyard as a kid.

The dressing: 3 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp local honey
The dressing will be thick and sweet, but the salad is tangy and a little bitter and it needs you to give it the sweetness to calm it down.

Finely chop 3 cups of young spinach
mix with 2 cups finely chopped sorrel
quarter 3/4 pkg local cherry tomatoes and add
shave in (with a carrot peeler) 2 medium sunchokes (squirt some lemon juice over the top after you add these shavings so they stay white)
Add 1/2 bunch blanched asparagus cut small (put asparagus into boiling water for 1-2 min, drain, and shock in cold water to stop the cooking process)

Christina's vote: "Walking on water seemed a very distinct possibility after eating this salad"

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