Market Brassicas Bowl
Although many of the recipes I share are old favorites, I’m always on the lookout for something new to try. While my inspiration often comes from Pinterest, this week’s recipe source is old-school, from a magazine.
I was at Ladies of Charity and decided to give the magazine rack a glance. Bon Appétit “Healthy-ish” Recipes caught my eye. I laughed at their sense of humor and honesty and decided to give the magazine a try. I’m not a fan of plenty of “healthy” recipes, especially those that are anything but: low fat, fake food substitutes, or non-local subs for local food all fall into that category for me.
I had more hope for something billing itself healthy-ish. I was pleased upon reading the editor’s words on why the name was chosen, and also pleased to find a recipe that I wanted to try early on in the pages.
This recipe is a recreation of a trendy dish from New York City. Since the magazine is from 2017 I’m guessing that the dish may not be so hot in NYC anymore. However, I’m interested in good food, not trends, so no worries here! I suspect, though, that my changes are pretty trendy as well.
Part of cooking seasonally and locally is making do with what you have. Sometimes this means altering a recipe significantly, other times the changes are only minor. In this case I substituted one brassica for another. The original recipe calls for broccolini, curly kale, and Brussels sprouts. I had collard raab (or rabe), red Russian kale, and napa cabbage.
Have you heard of collard raab? Broccoli raab is more common, but other brassica raabs are showing up at market and in recipes online. As far as I can tell, while broccoli raab is a specific variety, the other raabs are simply the buds of the bolting plant. They are imbued with the characteristics of the particular brassica that they come from, but generally the remaining chill of spring keeps them tender and tasty, not overly bitter like I usually associate with bolting greens.
Collard raab is a stronger tasting green than broccolini but I found it to be a bit lemony as well, and not a harsh flavor. I used untoasted sesame oil for roasting it; that seemed a better oil for roasting, as well as going well with the sesame seeds. Sunflower oil would be another good choice.
Since I had kale on hand I decided to use it and not to stray any further from the recipe than necessary. I used red Russian kale and found it work well with the dressing I massaged into it.
I was sad not to have picked up any Brussels sprouts at market. I love them and wanted to try them in this recipe. However, I had the right amount of napa cabbage and decided to prep it in a similar size/shape to how the sprouts are described. It was a good choice! The white leaves also provide a nice color contrast to the green of the other brassicas.
I used salted sunflower seeds because that’s what we had. Even though I had unsalted sesame seeds I chose to use Gomashio, a mix of ground and whole toasted sesame seeds with salt. I was concerned that my salad might turn out too salty so I went easy on the salt. I ended up having to add a little more at the end, but we do like things salty!
Even though I followed the recipe suggestion to top my dish with chives, I decided to add a bit more brassicas as well in the form of microgreens. I don’t remember the exact mix but I do remember hearing some brassica names included in the list.
Surprisingly, a vegetable ferment was not included in the original recipe. I felt like something was missing without it. For this bowl I chose Harvest Roots Ferments' Big Lil' Ginger. Both the flavor and the color go well with the other ingredients.
It’s a beautiful salad!
Market Brassicas Bowl
4 large eggs
1 bunch collard raab, trimmed
1 tablespoons sesame oil
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 small shallot, finely chopped
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
1 small bunch red Russian kale, ribs and stems removed, leaves torn into 2-inch pieces (about 8 cups)
8 ounces baby napa cabbage, trimmed, thinly sliced
Freshly ground black pepper
1⁄2 cup roasted, salted sunflower seeds, divided
1⁄2 cup hummus
1 avocado, quartered lengthwise
2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
1 tablespoon Gomashio (toasted sesame seeds with salt)
Microgreens for garnish, preferably brassica (cabbage, broccoli, kale, etc.)
Fermented veggies (I used Harvest Roots Ferments' Big Lil Ginger) (for serving)
Cook eggs in a large saucepan of boiling water for 7 minutes (whites will be set and yolks still slightly soft). Drain; transfer to a bowl of ice water and let sit until cool. Drain; peel eggs and cut in half lengthwise. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 500°. Toss collard with 1 tablespoon sesame oil in a bowl, then spread on a rimmed baking sheet and season lightly with salt. Roast, turning occasionally, until crisp-tender and charred in spots, 8–10 minutes. Let cool, then coarsely chop.
Whisk shallot, vinegar, mustard, and 4 tablespoons olive oil in the rabe bowl until emulsified; season lightly with salt. Add kale and brussels sprouts and toss to coat; season lightly with salt and pepper. Massage kale until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Add roasted collard rabe and 2 Tbsp. sunflower seeds; toss again.
Swipe some hummus along the inside of each bowl with a spoon. Divide salad among bowls and add an avocado wedge and 2 reserved egg halves to each. Top with chives, microgreens, Gomashio, and remaining sunflower seeds; sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Options: in addition to my changes made in my version of the recipe above, see the blog post. Basically, you can change this up in many ways to suit you and the ingredients in season. Use any stalky brassica (broccoli, broccoli raab, cauliflower) in place of the collard rabe/broccolini. Cut broccoli and cauliflower florets on the small side. Use 2 different leafy brassicas in place of the kale and napa cabbage/Brussels sprouts. Scarlet kale is especially beautiful in a salad. Napa cabbage and Brussels sprouts are pretty similar to other cabbages so you could use another type of cabbage in their place. Use a fried or hard boiled egg, or a leftover meat that sounds good. Use another oil and vinegar dressing or another oil for roasting. Use other fresh herbs for garnish. Use other nuts or seeds as desired. Adjust the salt to your taste (the Gomashio and salted sunflower seeds add salt). Have fun and enjoy!