Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Raw Broccoli Salad
It's a double treat to get such a full complement of vitamins and anti-oxidants from a dish that is so full of flavor.
It's been many years since I've had one of my favorite lite bites from Antonio's in Maitland, which really wasn't quite so light. We'd often stop in the downstairs deli for a quick slice of pizza and a side of one of their wonderful fresh salads. The broccoli salad was my favorite. As well as sporting a sweet yet tangy dressing, the broccoli, pine nuts, raisins and red onions were richly flavored with minced pancetta. It took many attempts at home in the mid-1990's to approximate the taste. It might have been our friend, John, who gave me a clue—sugar in the dressing!
With broccoli on sale this week, my mind and taste memory flew to that wonderful crunchy salad and I began to imagine how I would adapt it as a raw food item. For those who are just vegan, using a soy mayonnaise, thinned with a little rice wine vinegar and a spoonful of sugar is an easy route to go. But for those who would like to move more toward a raw food version, making a batch of almonnaise will get you closer to raw.
The basic salad is chopped broccoli, diced red onion, raisins, sunflower seeds or pine nuts. I tossed in the last of my snack sprouts as they are an addiction for me. They go in and on just about everything I make.
Enriched Almonnaise
- Courtesy of Marilyn Diamond in The American Vegetarian Cookbook from the Fit For Life Kichen
1/2 cup raw almonds
1/2 - 3/4 cup filtered water
1 tsp nutritional yeast
1/4 tsp finely minced garlic
3/4 tsp seasoned salt (kelp, etc) or sea salt
1 cup cold pressed olive oil
3 TBS lemon juice
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar (Bragg's)
l. Blanch almonds quickly and when cool, slip off skins. Have all ingredients measured and ready to go (mis-en-place).
2. Place almonds in blender or food processor and grind to a fine powder. Add half the water along with the nutritional yeast, garlic and seasoning. Blend well, then add the remaining water and continue blending to form a smooth cream.
3. With blender running on low, remove insert in top and drizzle in the oil in a thin stream until mixture is quite thick.
4. Keep blender running and add lemon juice and vinegar. Blend on low for one minute longer to allow mixture to thicken to desired consistency. Refrigerate tightly sealed; this will keep for 10 days to two weeks in the refrigerator.
I used half of a large head of broccoli. Slice the florets, mince half a medium red onion, add a generous handful of raisins, and a 1/2 cup of sunflower seeds. This was heavy on the onion. A half onion is probably enough for a whole head of broccoli. Play it by ear according to your taste. Again, this is a forgiving combination and a little more or a little less of anything won't matter a bit. I made this with 1/2 cup of almonnaise thinned down with 2 teaspoons of rice wine vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon of raw agave nectar.
If you want to whip this up with store bought mayo: 1/2 cup thinned with 2 teaspoons of vinegar and 1 tsp of sugar will adequately dress a half a head of broccoli. Double the dressing amounts if using a full head of broccoli. This salad does keep well in the fridge for a couple of days before tasting stale and soggy!
Till next time . . . to eat well; eat raw.

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