An immigrant’s red, white and blue salad, serve with a side of patriotism

As we get ready for this holiday weekend — with our watermelons tapped, our briskets rubbed and our potato salads tossed — I wanted to share at least one red, white and blue recipe.

This one, however, comes with a twist.

This Fourth of July-inspired dessert comes from Deepa Thomas, the author of “Deepa’s Secrets,” who became a U.S. citizen in 2012. Contributed by Sherry Heck

Deepa Thomas is the New Delhi-born founder of a textile company who now lives in San Francisco and decided to pursue a second career in food. Her book, “Deepa’s Secrets: Slow Carb New Indian Cuisine” (Skyhorse Publishing, $24.99), comes out on July 4, and in it, you’ll find this simple yogurt dish.

It might look a lot like the other patriotic desserts you’ll see scrolling through social media this weekend, but this dish will stick with me because of Thomas’ headnote:

My small homage to this great country of ours. Thampy and I just earned our citizenship in 2012. The ceremony is one I believe every American should experience. Twelve hundred of us were sworn in. We each stood when the State department official thanked us in Hindi for choosing America — shukriya, a formal thank you. And we watched proudly while he did the same for the others, in their native languages, 140 countries in all. Proud of ourselves, proud of our fellow new citizens, proud of these United States of America.

The yogurt in this dish is infused with cardamom, a flavor that is equally as beloved in my ancestral homeland of Scandinavia as Thomas’ in India.

My Swedish ancestors didn’t record their feelings about the day they become American citizens sometime around the turn of the century, but having visited the place they left in the 1800s and never saw again, it’s not hard to imagine both the pride and bittersweetness that comes with such an act.

It’s easy to get jaded about what it means to be an American these days, but Thomas’ memory of her citizenship ceremony was just the reminder I needed this week to focus on the basics, especially the undeniable influence of immigrants on all aspects of our society and culture and why we’re better off because we live — and cook and eat — together.

Red, White, and Blue Berry Breakfast Salad

Yogurt mixture:
2 cups plain Greek yogurt
teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon wild honey
Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup raspberries
1/2 cup blackberries
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup strawberries, sliced
Crowning flavor:
1/4 cup Go Nuts! (see below)

Stir ingredients for yogurt mixture well in a glass bowl. Check seasoning. Serve yogurt on individual plates or serve in a bowl, and top with berries and nuts. Serves 2.

— From “Deepa’s Secrets: Slow Carb New Indian Cuisine” by Deepa Thomas (Skyhorse Publishing, $24.99)

Go Nuts (Nut Mix)

Get out your biggest jar, then go buy one that’s twice that big. I am always reaching for this micronutrient-rich mix—a handful over yogurt and berries. Another at snack time. Again, on top of a salad. This makes about seven cups, so cut in half if you don’t think you’ll use it up in a few weeks.

1 cup walnuts
1 cup pine nuts
1 cup sliced almonds
2 cups sunflower seeds
2 cups pumpkin seeds
1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder
1 teaspoon salt (truffle salt if you like)

Toast the seeds and nuts in a pan over medium heat until light brown (about 4 minutes), stirring constantly. Remove from heat and sprinkle with cayenne powder and salt. Store in an airtight glass jar.

— From “Deepa’s Secrets: Slow Carb New Indian Cuisine” by Deepa Thomas (Skyhorse Publishing, $24.99)

 

 

 

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