Salads are like a jungle sometimes. Take this salad. On the surface, it seems normal. You’ve got some greens, some carrots, some onions, maybe a hint of cucumber lurking below, all tossed together, waiting for the fork. But look closer. Look at those greens. That’s no normal green base. That’s not lettuce or kale or spinach. That’s cilantro. Which… is not normal. Not at all. Can you feel that fear hissing up from the pit of your stomach, an angry python wrapping around your vegetative expectations? I told you. Salads are like the jungle. Cilantro is like the jungle. It’s dangerous. It’s unsettling. It’s not right.
Some of you out there, the brave and bold, might resist this salad, pointing to that leafy, treacherous green, attempting to perturb it, calling it zest. Sure, that cilantro’s physical location is the salad summit, the peak of Vegetarian Mountain, perched ornately as zest is wont to do. But don’t let that fool you. That positioning is just to lull you into a false sense of normalcy. It’s using its own body as a piece of ensemble camouflage. Don’t fall for it. Cilantro’s a poison dart frog, and it’s ready to strike. Tread carefully now. You wouldn’t want to ire that cilantro.
The only way to survive the jungle is to give yourself to the jungle. To become a part of it. To hone yourself in on the humming rhythm that is the wild forest. That’s how you survive. You learn. You adapt. You embrace. That’s also true for cilantro. Cast away your fears. Give in to the unknown.
Take a look at the gorgeous round rock we call the world. It’s full of wonder and amazement. It’s full of sustenance. It’s full of hope. But you also have the jungle, saturated in its crushing darkness and despair, its looming dread, its suffocating density. The jungle was a mistake of creation, an inhuman blemish of death, colored in the hues of the gardens of life. The same is true for a salad made of cilantro. Literally. I grabbed the wrong greens when I made this. Oh well!