In the great state of Kentucky, it is the middle of March Sadness. Well, in most people’s houses, but not so much in my dad’s house. In my dad’s house, Tom Izzo may take my father’s beloved Spartans to a national championship. I grew up in a divided home. My dad is a Michigan State fan to his soul and my mother always cheered for Michigan. Although I sometimes wonder if she just did that to get his goat. Either way, it was a home divided and game days were a sight. So when I decided to attend the University Of Kentucky, I am sure eyes rolled with regard to sports. Yet another family division. If we’re being fair, Kentucky is the obvious better choice of teams to cheer for. I mean, caaahm aaahhhn! Big Blue Nation or Die! I don’t feel strongly about this, hahaha! Anyway, my father’s allegiance definitely translated in me a certain respect for a team, perhaps the only team in the NCAA, that trains for the tournament all year long. Year in and year out this team gets its butt kicked all over the place. I’m not saying they always lose, we know that’s not true. But they kick, scratch and fight their way through their season and their unmatched difficult schedule. Izzo has no interest in making the season a cake walk for these poor kids. But they always show up to the tournament and this year, they just might win. So since my beloved Cats aren’t in the tournament, I’ve been taking bribes at work for which team I cheer for. We have a Cuse fan, a Kansas fan and a State fan. The choice here isn’t really a competition, but I do respect all of the teams represented in my office and love the friendly competition it brings come tournament time. It is always fun to be around folks with a similar passion for basketball! Anyway, I was cooking over the weekend and decided I had the ingredients to make a very Sparty Salad that my dad would love!
Here’s the breakdown:
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
*I used cabernet vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 bunch green asparagus
1 bunch white asparagus
12 oz country ham, diced
*If you don’t have country ham, which unless you’re in the south, you don’t….use serrano ham or prosciutto
1 6 oz package ArtiHearts grilled artichoke hearts
*or 6 oz of your own grilled artichoke hearts
Cut the woody stems off the asparagus and then cut the spears into thirds. Then divide up the artichoke hearts with your hands. Mix everything together. Food process the sun dried tomatoes and mix with the rest of the vinaigrette ingredients. Toss together some of the dressing with the salad and voila! A very Sparty green and white salad that any State fan would love!