This week I was inspired by three different people.
Nicole has been a dear friend for 26 year! Ugh… I can’t believe it has been so long. She has always supported me in all my adventures and promoted me in every way she could. Now she is working in fitness so healthy food is important to her. In our last chat, she mentioned raw food.
Liesbeth was talking to me about a liver cleanse and wanting to eat healthier, avoiding all processed food and as she put it, eat “whole foods”.
And then there is the wonderful free-range organic lamb that I had made in Italy and had promised Laura the recipe.
So this week’s trip to the market was swift and determined. No chit-chat, no surprise basket, no cheese! I knew what I wanted and how much of it.
I was on a mission…
So girls, this one is for you!
I chose 3 ingredients that are amongst the most powerful veggies out there, they are so full of everything great, they should be called miracle food. Seriously once you start reading about them you will want to eat them 3 times a day. Ok maybe not but you SHOULD!
Beets are well-known for being a powerful liver cleanser. But it does not stop here, Mesdames et Messieurs (if you are up with the times, you know “Mesdemoiselles” has been removed from french customs), in fact beets are filled with antioxidants, have anti-inflammatory properties which makes them a cancer fighter, are great for your eyes and so much more. My dear cousin thinks they taste like “dirt” but I wish she would eat them… You hear me?
Raw Beet Salad
All these recipes are simple and have very few ingredients.
You will need about 5-6 beets
1/4 cup Olive oil
juice of half a lemon
half a shallot
some chopped parsley
Salt and pepper
Yep, that’s it!
Grate the raw beets with a Mandolin fitted with the medium blade, or you can use a cheese grater (protect your fingers please) or a food processor. Chop the shallots very finely. Make a dressing of lemon and olive oil with a pinch of salt and some fresh black pepper.
In a large bowl, mix the beets, shallots, dressing and some chopped parsley. Toss well and serve or refrigerate up to a day or 2
My next ingredient is the Brussel Sprout. The most powerful cruciferous of all cruciferouses (?) and your best ally to prevent cancer with high levels of glucosinolates. They are also: cholesterol fighters, filled with fiber, protectors of DNA, rich in vitamin C and K, they are detoxifying, anti-inflammatory and again filled with antioxidants. They should start wearing little capes with “SBS” embroidered on them.
For the dressing:
1 tsp of Dijon mustard
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbs cider vinegar
salt & pepper
Shave the sprouts on a mandolin or a food processor.
Crush the hazelnuts using a mortar and pestle.
You can also put the hazelnuts in a kitchen towel and use a hammer!
Wash the pears and cut them in little cubes. I am assuming you are using organic so no need to peel. Otherwise…
Roll the Basil leaves together and cut them finely.
In a bowl, mix the olive oil, mustard and vinegar and whisk well.
Add the basil, salt and pepper, then add the Brussels sprouts and hazelnuts and toss well. Voilà. Another one bites the dust! ok I’m old…er
And finally the Celery root. An ugly companion, rough, dirty and knobby. BUT and here the list is even longer… Rich in Carotene, Vitamins A C K and E in very high levels. They are calming, analgesic, anti-septic, anti-allergic, digestive and help reduce stomach issues like ulcers, gastritis and indigestion. Rich in fibers and as Yule Brynner used to say… “etc, etc, etc”. Mmm, I think I need to update my references… most of you have no idea who or what I am talking about…
I’m hip, I promise! My 12 year-old niece is trying to tutor me in french “hip” talk though hip is probably not hip… definitely not cool.
I was inspired to do this dish the last time I used Celery root (see Surprise Basket) and had promised myself to do it the next time I bought it. Usually you should blanch the slices for 2 minutes in boiling salted water, then quickly run them under cold water to stop the cooking process. But since this is the “raw” post, I did not blanch them and though they were thougher then blanched, flavor was not affected.
The one thing that was not on my shopping list on Wednesday but called my name and sounded perfect for this dish was fresh ripe “Bergamot”. A gorgeous yellow-orange citrus (yellow-green when less ripe) that originates in Calabria and is better known for being the essence in Earl Grey tea.
As I was zesting it, the smell definitely reminded me of earl grey. Of course you may not find Bergamot so use tangerines, oranges, blood oranges, lemon, lime, whatever you like best.
Half a celery Root peeled.
2 cups of wild arugula
1/4 cup pine nuts
For the dressing:
3 tbs olive oil
Zest of 1 Bergamot and the juice of half
(Note bergamot, if not fully ripe, have a bitter juice. To adjust, mix with lemon juice)
Lemon juice for the water
salt and pepper
With a mandolin or food processor, slice the celery root paper-thin and drop them in lemony water as you slice.
Whisk together the olive oil, zest and juice of the bergamot. Taste and if necessary add a little lemon juice.
On a serving platter, put the arugula, root slices and sprinkle with salt, drizzle the sauce and grind some fresh pepper. If you prefer, start with the slices of celery root, chop the arugula and place o top or toss it all together.
Now a confession:
For my husband to accept eating such a healthy raw vegan-like lunch, I slipped him a few slices of Saucisson Sec aux figues from Haute-Savoie, a hot crunchy baguette and a glass of Vaqueyras wine.
Tomorrow night one of my favorite people is visiting me from Paris and then all vegetarianism will go out the window and I will give you the Lamb recipe.