Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Vegetable Medley- Tocana de legume, a Moldovan Original

 There are times when no spice is allowed to alter or mask the taste of a delectable dish like this. Yes, if  they were grocery store vegetables, then you do need to give them a kick, indeed. Not these veggies from our own Moldovan garden, grown with rain, clean soil and LOVE. A dish called Tocana (tocanita)- a sort of medley, that I made during our fall visit to our home place in Moldova. Little garlic and dill is the only flavour that complement so well this dish made of absolutely fresh vegetables: tomato, egg plant, onion, yellow and red bell pepper. A side of plain rice is the only thing you need for great companion!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Thinking Outside the Lettuce Head- a Winner Salad

A winner- Hooray! Thanks for the 2nd prize with Manjula's Kitchen April Contest!

Ayurveda identifies 6 Tastes by which all foods can be categorized: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent, and astringent. Ideally one should have a mix of all of them, when one is in good health. Lately my husband has seriously been exploring this field and I have taken this as a task: making food to serve as medicine.
It is so easy to get into a salad boredom by mixing the same old lettuce and tomatoes…and that’s where I found myself for a while. The salad I am submitting for the contest is a beautiful balance of the above listed tastes, apart from being nutritious, tasty and pleasing to the eye.
I thought of thinking outside the lettuce head- and here I came up with a different salad that turned out excellent- and oh, so colorful! All of the ingredients are available at the produce section of any large grocery store. Even better, try your luck with local farmer’s markets to assure freshness and quality.

  • Radicchio- half head
  • 1 Cup Cauliflower florets
  • 1 Cup Sliced carrots
  • 1 Cup Sliced yellow bell peppers
  • Small bunch arugula or watercress
  • Small bunch of chives
  • 1 tablespoon Pumpkin seeds

Olive Oil Sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of ground black pepper

  1. Roughly chop the radicchio head.
  2. Blanch the cauliflower florets and the sliced carrots for about 3 minutes. Cool.
  3. Mix in the radicchio, cauliflower, carrots, sliced yellow bellpeppers, chopped chives and argula/ or watercress.
  4. Season with olive oil sauce
  5. Garnish with pumpkin seeds and serve. Season to taste with salt.
  6. To make the Olive Oil Sauce, mix in the oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

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