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.