Monday, June 27, 2011

Hearty Broccoli Salad

I enjoy watching the crazy free-spirited exhibitions of Santa Barbara's Summer Solstice Parade. Pictured above at the workshop the night before, one of the zebras is still missing its head! This is how my hula kumu (teacher) felt the last two weeks before our performance. Remember Murphy's Law? Well, absolutely everything went wrong! Our float, that needed to pull huge Samoan drummers, was nail bitingly behind schedule. The ti leaves ordered from Hawaii jumped five times our original quote. Our feather order was lost, then when it arrived late, it wasn't correct in type or quantity. Besides our seamstress had a death in her family and many of us got our skirts the morning of our parade! Yipes!

At first I said "no" to dancing in the parade, but I let myself get pressured into it by my hula sisters. Since it has been three years since my last near-death-by-dancing up State Street...I must have believed I could get into physical condition in just a few weeks. Magical thinking really, when I couldn't even keep to my goal of swimming laps everyday! I may have come close to a coronary event, but only suffered minor sunstroke. The effects of headache and dehydration yesterday seriously mimicking a regular hangover. Not an unfamiliar condition I'm afraid.

Let me detail some of the sensations of this year's festival in the park. The epic drum circle, independent of the local bands on the stage, pummelled their beats over the heads of the caged beer and wine drinkers. The smells of food vendors and sights of new aged tie dye merchandise fills the senses to overload. As I watch the crowd gyrating and bopping longingly (having spent my energy half way through the parade); What I really want to know is...Where do all the graying hairy men, with beer bellies poking out from under hippy vests; and these women with sequined and feathered headdresses exposing cellulite dotted butt checks go when this festival is over? What do they do the other 364 days of the year? As I write this our float as well as all the others, are being dismantled. It's time to put your freak flag in storage for another year, Santa Barbara.

Traditionally, we Hula Anyone? people assemble in the same spot in the park and share a pot luck after the parade. I usually bring cookies, because they need no refridgeration. Thank Goddess, others in our group bring real food, like the following broccoli salad, which really hit the spot after a marathon endurance feat.

Hearty Broccoli Salad

1 1/2 lbs. organic broccoli

1 medium onion

2 cloves garlic

2 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup dressing

1/2 cup cranberries

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

  1. Wash and trim heads of broccoli into small bite sized pieces. Disregard leaves.

  2. blanch or lightly steam the florettes for a minute or two, then rinse in cold water.

  3. Grate up remaining stems, disregarding woody bulk of skin that doesn't grate easily.

  4. Mix all the broccoli together and set aside.

  5. Chop onion and mince garlic. Heat skillet. Then put olive oil in pan to heat a minute. Saute onions until translucent. Add garlic for another 2 minutes-Don't let it turn brown.

  6. Add dressing and cranberries to skillet, mixing to remove all flavour from pan.

  7. Add skillet mixture to broccoli and refridgerate.

  8. Toast sunflower seeds at 350 degrees F. for 3-5 minutes. Add just before serving.

1/4 grape seed oil (any vegetable oil also ok)

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

Shake all ingredients well. Feel free to use bottled dressing if more convenient.

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