Friday, August 6, 2010

Warm Salad of Garlicky Tenderstem Broccoli, Tomato, Capers, and Avocado.

Centra's in town is a chain, but they have great deals. Living off a poor student's budget, I love a good deal. So, given they day's limited produce selection, I chose two packets of Tenderstem Broccoli - not only because they were any 2 for 3 euro, but the sticker also declared "New Season Irish." perfect. Tenderstem broccoli looks a little bit like broccoli rabe, but it's not bitter. it's sweet, but rather mild, with a crunch like asparagus. a deliciously nutritious dark green veg.

150g Tenderstem Broccoli (from Ireland)
5 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced (from China)
glug of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (from "packed in Spain for Sainsbury's")
8 cherry tomatoes (from Holland)
1 small red onion, thinly half-mooned sliced (from UK)
4 spoonfuls of capers (from Spain)
1/2 an avocado (no label)
spalsh of Balsamic Vinegar  (from Italy)
dried red chili pods, to taste (organic, from Austria)

ok, so at least the main ingredient is "local"...

heat the oven to 200C. add the tenderstem broccoli and garlic to an oven-proof pan and coat gently with the extra virgin olive oil. cover with tin foil and roast for about 15 minutes. add the tomatoes to the pan and cook for another 7 minutes, until the tomatoes look like they are about to burst at the touch - it's ok if the skins break, the juices will add to the dressing. remove from the oven and add the capers, red onion and avocado and dress with balsamic vinegar. season with salt and freshly ground pepper and sprinkle the chili peppers on top. mix well.

the balsamic, broccoli and tomatoes add a pleasant, almost surprising sweetness, the raw red onions a crunch, the capers a bit of saltiness, the avocado a creamy mouthful texture, and the chili's of course a fire-raging house party in the mouth.

according to the website (yes the vegetable has it's own website...):

Vitamins & Minerals
Tenderstem® broccoli is very high in vitamin C and folate, a combination which is valuable in the treatment of anemia and fatigue. It is also high in vitamin A and potassium and is a good source of iron, vitamin B6 and Calcium.
Tenderstem® broccoli is an excellent source of glucosinolates which are known to help in the prevention of certain cancers and it contains up to 45% more glucosinolates than the most common broccoli (marathon).
Tenderstem® broccoli is a great source of phytonutrients such as betacarotene and lutein and contains the natural phytoestrogen lignan.

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