September 23, 2007

Vegetarian options: Asparagus and chanterelles

Back when I was in high school, I was an ethical vegetarian for about three months. I made the decision at the time because I was convinced that the decision to opt out of taking the life of another animal for food was a morally superior choice that humans are uniquely equipped to make. I was also concerned with the amount of resources it took to raise animals for human consumption when compared to a vegetarian diet. Ultimately, I reverted back to my omnivorous ways after my dad asked me to start eating meat again.

Since then, I haven't put any restrictions on what I eat. We try to buy our meat from reputable purveyors when possible, and we broadly try to eat more limited portions of meat (although that doesn't always happen). But is that really enough?

Deep down inside, though, I think that vegetarianism is the much more enlightened route, and I respect those who are able to stick with a strictly vegetarian diet. There are plenty of practical, selfish reasons to consider becoming a vegetarian (overall health, atrocious meat production practices, and my current favorite: "Because in every package of chicken, there's a little poop"), but in the end, I still find the ethical and environmental reasons the most compelling.

So we decided to make a simple vegetarian dinner this evening. We nabbed some huge, meaty chanterelles and fresh tagliatelle from the Ballard Farmers' Market after church. The chanterelles were sauteed in browned butter to extract as much depth of flavor as possible, and we tossed in the fresh pasta, flash-seared asparagus tips, caramelized onions, sweet garlic marmalade and some grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. Simple, rich, and satisfying. Who needs meat? (Although I'll never know how vegans stick to it...)

Technorati Tags: ,

No comments:

Post a Comment