Happy Canada Day! Yay to Summer too! And what better way to celebrate at Freshncrunchy than share the colours red (and white) with our food. Here's a lovely salad that we enjoyed at lunch. We also made some mini berry tarts for dessert which was shared at my Instagram page here and here. Mind you, our boy was enjoying them more than my husband and I.
Our veggie star today comes in with that lovely red wine colour. It's known as radicchio, a member of the chicory family and it became popular in the Veneto regions of Italy. It looks like a small coloured cabbage and if you're not too familiar with this wonderful leaf, take a look at these different images. It's a bit bitter but it's a good source of Vitamin K which helps in bone formation and strength. Radicchio is also an excellent source of antioxidants such as zea-xanthin and lutein which are known to offer protection to age related macular disease by filtering harmful ultraviolet rays. And let's not forget these other good stuff it brings: selenium, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, B-vitamins, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin E and folate.
So the colours in our produce are much more than just aesthetics. I wrote a bit about this on this earlier post here. That's the reason why I love purple cabbage and cauliflower, blood orange, cherries, blueberries and of course radicchio! Here is a good article to read from N. C. State University about this topic.
It's good for us so let's enjoy it!. I'm mixing it with fresh and local organic corn, cherry tomatoes, avocado, red onions, cilantro and a wonderful dressing to compliment them. If bitter is not your thing, simply substitute the radicchio with other greens like romaine or spinach and maybe arugula for some peppery flavour. Bitter greens require sweet and also tart items to balance that strong taste. Berries, peach or mango are great to try. Orange or grapefruit are other options too.
Radicchio and Corn Salad with Sweet Lime and Cumin Dressing
Ingredients (Preferably Organic)
Two big handfuls of radicchio leaves, washed, torn and spun dried
1 1/2 c. fresh organic corn, cleaned, shucked and rinsed
1 c. cherry tomatoes, halved
1 avocado, halved, pitted and sliced
1/4 c. cilantro, washed and stems removed
2 Tbsp. red onions, minced
1/4 c. lime juice
3 Tbsp. avocado oil
2 1/4 Tbsp. maple syrup or coconut nectar
Himalayan salt and pepper to taste
A pinch (or two) of cumin powder
A pinch of cayenne or slices of jalapeno pepper
Combine all the ingredients for the dressing in a small jar or a bowl and mix or shake well until fully incorporated. Adjust the taste. Wash and prep all salad ingredients. It's a must to use fresh organic corn as this is one of those produce that's on the GMO list. To assemble, toss the salad but only add the avocado as you plate individually so they don't get mushy. Save some of the cilantro for the decoration as well. Enjoy!
Summer is also the time when we can take advantage of our local produce. Going to farmer's market to meet the source of the food we eat is something I love to do. One of the great places to visit in Toronto is the Evergreen Brick Works. This year, they're open from May 3, 2014 to November 1, 2014. It was great to meet several of the organic farmers of Ontario last Saturday. Here's a link to their vendors.
Hoping you enjoyed Canada Day celebrations with family and friends. The weather was a bit testy but it started to clear up later. To all my relatives and friends in the U. S., have a Happy 4th of July too! Our son is turning 17 that day and we're hoping to be able to share our celebratory food here on Freshncrunchy next week.