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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Two Raw Vegetable Salads

Raw Broccoli Salad

Two Raw Vegetable Salads
by Victoria Challancin

Looking for ways to add raw vegetables to your diet?  Here are two easy salads, each loaded with healthy nutrients and cancer-fighting phytochemicals.

Over the years I have tasted many raw broccoli salads, some heavy with mayonnaise and cheddar cheese, some lightened with yogurt, and some with the Italian flavors of a lemony vinaigrette.  Never have I enjoyed one as much as the following, which I tossed together one day after having bought some tiny organic broccoli at a local organic market.  Both my yoga teacher/vegetarian husband and various friends with whom I have shared this recipe give it a hearty endorsement.  Feel free to play with the recipe--that's how I came up with it!

Raw Broccoli Salad
(Recipe by Victoria Challancin) 
1 lb broccoli, chopped very fine (include tender young leaves)
4 teaspoons unflavored rice vinegar
2 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce or tamari
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil or to taste
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds

Toss the ingredients together and enjoy!

~Add a handful of raisins, dried cranberries, or cherries
~Use an Italian-style vinaigrette with olive oil and red wine vinegar plus pine nuts instead of the sesame-sunflower seed combination--add a couple of chopped sun-dried tomatoes for color

The following salad has both cooked and raw components.  You don't have to sauté the Swiss chard stems, but if you don't, try massaging the salad gently with clean hands before tossing it together with the remaining ingredients.

Chard and Mozzarella Salad
(Recipe from Gourmet Magazine ,online recipe, January 2009)
Serves 4 to 6
From Gourmet Online:  Chard is rarely served raw, but it’s easy to eat when its ribs are sautéed and its leaves are cut into very thin ribbons. This green has a delightful fresh flavor and chew, not unlike the mozzarella (with which it is served here. This unexpected combination really works, especially with the lemony dressing that ties it all together.

1 3/4 lb Swiss chard
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
10 oz chilled lightly salted fresh mozzarella, coarsely grated (about 1 1/2 cups)

Tear chard leaves from ribs in large pieces. Slice ribs 1/4 inch thick, reserving leaves separately.
Heat oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers, then sauté chard ribs and garlic with 1/4 tsp each of salt and pepper until ribs are crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
Stack chard leaves, then tightly roll into a cigar shape and very thinly slice crosswise. Optional:  Massage leave with clean hands for several minutes to soften the cellulose in the plant cells.  Toss leaves with ribs, lemon juice, mozzarella, and salt and pepper to taste.

Two other raw salads that I have posted before are a lemony turnip and apple salad from Farmer John's Cookbook and a kohlrabi remoulade.

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