Sunday, July 19, 2009

Spiked with Spice Garden Salad

In the center of the garden, we stood around the little plant. Our heads were bowed, our eyes were squinted, our tone somber. "I really want to like it", she said about one of her first grown crops "but...well..have you ever had mustard greens before? They are so spicy" Standing in a circle in the middle of the field, we bore the posture of a funeral gathering. It didn't feel right. I wanted to cut the mustard greens right there and run them into the kitchen. I wanted to dice and chop and mix and force feed them to everyone in the garden. I wanted to make them understand how delicious mustard greens can be.

This morning Christina and I were talking about evangelism and things of that nature. The evangelist believes that they have solutions for all. If only others truly understood, they would follow their way of life. The evangelist lives in a world without mirrors, and starved for his own reflection tries to paint himself on others. This morning I tried to distance myself from the evangelist, I floated him away to an island on a raft constructed of my own judgement. How ironic that in writing this now I can clearly see my own evangelistic urges over a bunch of mustard greens.

I walked down the rows of tables overloaded with bushy greens and red shapes and dirt crusted roots at the St. Paul farmers market. I stopped at a table where a large beautiful bundle of mustard greens was on sale for 1 dollar. There is an unmistakable financial benefit to being a person who is open to alternative paths through life. The roads less traveled overflow with available abundance, if one is willing to learn how to access it. I stopped at the table.
"are these spicy? " I said, my bag was already full and overflowing from my shoulder where it hung.
"OH Nooo" said the farmer "they are not spicy at all, perfect for salad"
I gave her a skeptical look and then tasted them, she watched nervously. I don't think she expected me to do that. One small taste made my sinuses clear and my eyes water.
"Oh, good. I will take them" I said. The woman looked surprised, but happily packed them up for me.
I had the same sort of interaction at several tables of radishes. It seems that "spicy" is not a big seller at the farmers market. I finally found some hot radishes and then left for home.

The dressing:
mix together
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp salad oil
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
juice from 1 lemon
1 tsp maple syrup
a pinch of salt

Chop 2 cups of mustard greens. Cut them with 1/2 head of romaine (use less mustard greens and more romaine if you are just introducing them to someone for the first time). Add 1 carrot and 2 mini cucumbers (peeled and diced), 1 tomato, and 1-2 cups sweet pea pods. Add some spicy radishes if you like (we do).

Christina's vote: "This salad put me in a fightin' mood"

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