Cucumber Blueberry Salad with Fresh Sage and Mint
Interesting combination ¿que no?
This salad came from our fifth Edible Alien Theatre (performance-art dinner fundraisers we call E.A.T.) production Shadow & Light. The evening’s show was entirely in shadow, the diners surrounded by seven scrims and we used overhead projectors to provide the light for our images, our selves, and shadow puppets.
The inspiration for the show arrived from different places.
- Light, and Shadows. The way light filtered through leaves outside my window, then filtered again through the lace curtain… such beautiful patterns that faded in and out, it was a show playing every afternoon on my kitchen floor.
- Life and Death; this world… and whatever the other thing is. Our friend Eric Johnson passed away that year so the mode was more introspective than other years.
- Readings from Professor David Bohn, a physicist who describes the universe as a hologram. Every part of a hologram contains all of the information of the whole, and he theorized the universe is constructed in a similar manner. In 1982 at the University of Paris, physicist Alain Aspect and his team conducted experiments with interesting results:
“…under certain circumstances subatomic particles such as electrons are able to instantaneously communicate with each other regardless of the distance separating them. It doesn’t matter whether they are 10 feet of 10 billion miles apart, somehow each particle always seems to know what the other is doing….”
“…Professor Bohm believes the reason subatomic particles are able to remain in contact…is not because they are sending some sort of mysterious signal back and forth, but because their separateness is an illusion…”
- The number Seven. Seven scrims; Seven Courses of the meal; Seven Stages of Growth; Seven Wives for Seven Brothers; Seven Planets of the ancient world; Seven Stoplights on Water Street; the Dance of the Seven Veils.
Seven is where we got to the meal.
I was pondering how to create a menu would fit the show, and decided to research the Dance of the Seven Veils for inspiration. Though it has appeared in various versions in popular culture and in the Bible, the older version likely has roots in the ancient myth about the goddess Ishtar (or Inanna) who must descend into the underworld. At each of the seven gates she must go through she must leave a piece of jewelry or clothing (identity):
“Modern day mystics see the dance of the seven veils and the story of Inanna’s descent as a metaphor for enlightenment, shedding “veils” of illusion on the path to deeper spirituality of self-realization.”
The Veils and their Planets:
- Imagination: The Moon
- Reason: Mercury
- Passion: Venus
- Bliss: The Sun
- Divine Courage: Mars
- Divine Compassion: Jupiter
- Divine Knowledge: Saturn
With more searching I also found a list of foods (probably from ancient Greece) associated with each ray.
A crazy way to make a menu? Oh yeah. But sometimes bizarre limitations can push the creative boundaries. Strange as the food-planet list seemed at first, it turned into a meal to remember.
Menu for SHADOW & LIGHT
Fresh Laban Cheese in a Toasted Breadbox
Savory Duck with Roasted Pear and Fig in a Phyllo Cup
Tomato Consommé with Fresh Dill, Caraway and Homemade Fusilli Pasta
Saffron Rice Pilaf with Moroccan Preserved Lemon, Olives and Pistachios
Grilled Pork Loin Skewer with a Spicy Cherry BBQ Sauce
Roasted Vegetable Galette
Salad of Cucumber, Blueberries, Fresh Sage and Mint
Items Four, Five and Six were served together. .
Jupiter: Divine Compassion
The path of least resistance in my planning process was to pick some of the items and make a salad.
An unusual medley, but somehow it works on a summer’s eve. Most of this is in season at the same time… so make a fresh batch, eat dinner outside, and enjoy your little tribute to Jupiter and Divine Compassion.
Cucumber Bluberry Salad with Fresh Sage and Mint
Prep Time: 15 minutes Rest Time: 30 minutes
Cut into cubes about the size of a blueberry:
1 medium Cucumber, approximately 2 cups (remove seeds if they are bitter, otherwise I leave them in)
Add them to a bowl with:
1 cup blueberries
2 Tablespoons Fresh Mint, minced
1 1/2 – 2 Tablespoon Fresh Sage, minced
2 teaspoons Olive Oil
1 1/2 teaspoon White Wine Vinegar
2 teaspoons Honey, Sugar or Agave Syrup
A Pinch Nutmeg
A Pinch Salt, to taste
Black Pepper (optional)
Mix the dressing into the salad and toss.
Let the salad sit for 30 minutes, then taste and adjust seasonings.
Dine outside and look up at the stars.
This is a photo from Act 6 of Shadow & Light, when the scrims (veils) parted.