Black is the New Food: Black and Red Salad

Food dressed in black! There is nothing new about them. Forbidden or black rice is one of the ancient varieties. Then there are black beans, black sesame, blackberries, black garlic and mussels I’ve posted during the few months cooking with IHCC’s featured chef and nutritionist Ellie Krieger. I’m glad I spent time exploring all these food in black.

But color is only skin deep. What’s remarkable beyond the black patina is the pigment anthocyanin which is the real hero. Anthocyanins are found in red/purplish fruits and vegetables, including purple cabbage, beets, blueberries, cherries, raspberries and purple grapes. Anthocyanins have been linked to impressive health benefits: from anti-inflammatory properties to healthier arteries and better insulin regulation. I like the twist of adding more antioxidant rich food in my daily diet, if possible. A shift of color focus gets me there. Just look for food in darkish red/purple/black colors.


It is time to bid farewell to Ellie Krieger, our featured chef for the last six months at IHCC. I am finding another dish highlighting blackberries and black plums. Adding to the color black is the bold color red: beets and radicchio. The deep tone and flavor of the black and red ingredients make for a stunning and mouth-watering salad. The sweetness of the plum balances well with the pleasantly bitter beet greens and walnuts, and the creamy goat cheese.

The use of the whole beet in a single dish, beetroots and greens, is out of the ordinary. Chopped beet green ribbons add a different flavor and texture to the radicchio, my choice for the red leaf lettuce. Beets are grated with a box grater and eaten raw in this salad, similar to that using carrots. They give a fresher flavor than cooked beets. What a wonderful idea! (Shopping tips for beets: pick the ones with green leaves that are fresh and intact.)

Thanks, Ellie, for this and many delicious dishes with an eye on healthful and nutritious ingredients, black and red and otherwise.


black: berries & plums; red: beets & radicchio

This post will also be joinng our friends at Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen.

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  • Reply
    Deb in Hawaii
    April 1, 2016 at 10:36 pm

    I love everything about this post! Your salad is just gorgeous and I love the combination of the beets with the fruit. Bring on the anthocyanins–they are often an unsung or forgotten hero for sure and so good for our health. You made the most of our time with Ellie with some wonderful recipes. I am still craving those mussels–one of my favorite foods and not easy to get reliably fresh and worth the price here. Thanks for sharing. 😉

    As a side note, would love to have you and your lovely salad join us at Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays if you want to link up. 😉 Here is this week's link:

  • Reply
    April 2, 2016 at 3:26 am

    There was no picture in the book. So I it did come as a surprise how great this salad looked and tasted. I'll join you at Souper. Thanks for the info.

  • Reply
    kitchen flavours
    April 2, 2016 at 7:40 am

    Beautiful plate of salad! I am so jealous of all the fresh berries that are so easily available over there. Blackberries (and other berries) are all imported and they are very costly at where I live.
    Your fruity salad looks fabulous!

  • Reply
    April 2, 2016 at 1:01 pm

    I know what you mean. I tried to bake in Asia while I was there. Even the dry berries cost an arm and a leg.

  • Reply
    Couscous & Consciousness
    April 4, 2016 at 4:52 am

    Love, love, love this – every single bit of it. I love all the ingredients, the gorgeous colours, and best of all I love that all of these things are plentiful in my part of the world right now. This is definitely on my list for dinner one night this week – thanks for sharing it.

  • Reply
    Joyce Rachel Lee-Bates
    April 4, 2016 at 5:20 am

    A really lovely post – the color theme, recipes, the way you write this post. Elegant! I didn't know beets can be eaten raw! I might give it a try, hopefully I can accept the earthy taste. 😀

  • Reply
    Joyce Rachel Lee-Bates
    April 4, 2016 at 5:21 am

    Yeah, the berries over here, whether imported (fresh), frozen, or dried, all cost an arm, a leg, and a kidney. 😛

  • Reply
    April 4, 2016 at 1:51 pm

    This recipe is like a hidden gem. So glad I've found it and made the salad.

  • Reply
    April 4, 2016 at 1:53 pm

    Skeptical about eating the beets raw, but not anymore. Shredding the beets make them very easy to eat and enjoy.

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