It's been a few weeks now since we met, and I'm well into my love affair with fresh tarragon. I keep discovering new things that taste great with the slightly anise flavor of this herb and I've been having fun experimenting with it. Recently I was looking through a cookbook that had been sent to me by the publisher, and I spotted a recipe that used tarragon in what seemed like an unlikely combination. The recipe came from The G.I. Diet Express, a book of ultra-simple recipes for anyone who's wanting to eat the low-glycemic index way. It's a book of fifty easy recipes, color coded so you can tell whether each is low, medium, or high based on the glycemic index. This recipe was coded green, which means, eat as much as you want!
This week, I purposely picked a recipe I thought might appeal to The Chocolate Lady, who's hosting Weekend Herb Blogging. I know she's a woman who loves her vegetables and herbs, and this salad is full of flavor from the slightly cooked broccoli and cauliflower, and the tarragon vinaigrette. Broccoli and cauliflower are both on the list of The World's Healthiest Foods, since they are loaded with nutrients and are high on the list of cancer fighting foods. In fact, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, cabbage, greens, and others belong to a group called cruciferous vegetables, all of which are considered to have cancer-preventing ingredients. If all that wasn't enough reason to eat this salad, it's also very low in fat, even with the little sprinkling of parmesan cheese I couldn't resist adding to the recipe.
Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad with Lemon, Dijon, and Tarragon Vinaigrette
(Makes about 4 servings, recipe slightly adapted from The G.I. Diet Express.)
3 cups broccoli flowerets
3 cups cauliflower flowerets
1/2 red onion, chopped
1-2 T Parmesan cheese
2 T olive oil
4 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. lemon zest
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. chopped fresh tarragon
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
Steam broccoli and cauliflower until barely tender-crisp, less than 5 minutes. (Vegetables can also be cooked in boiling water 2 minutes.) Let vegetables drain well and come to room temperature.
Whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, Dijon, fresh tarragon, and salt and pepper. In bowl with a tight lid, combine broccoli, cauliflower, and red onion. Mix in dressing. Put lid on and let salad sit for about 30 minutes before serving.
When ready to serve, turn salad upside down a few times with lid on to get vegetables coated with dressing. Put in serving bowl and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese if desired. Serve at room temperature.
This will keep in the refrigerator a day or two, but the broccoli will lose the bright green color that makes the salad so pretty. If you don't have fresh tarragon, other herbs like basil, oregano, or marjoram could be substituted. I would increase the amount if using other herbs.
South Beach Suggestions:
This salad is a perfect and healthy side dish for any phase of the South Beach diet. This would taste great with Grilled Chicken with Lemon, Capers, and Oregano and Grilled Zucchini for phase one. For phase two or three, skip the zucchini and add something like Basil and Parmesan Rice with Pine Nuts.
More Cruciferous Salads with Broccoli or Cauliflower
(Recipes from other blogs may or may not be South Beach friendly, check ingredients.)
Sweet and Sour Broccoli Salad
Broccoli and Radish Salad with Gorgonzola
Chinese Broccoli Salad
Broccoli Salad from Simply Recipes
Salad with Cauliflower, Olives, Capers, and Roasted Pine Nuts from Lucullian Delights
Broccoli, Pepper, and Celery Salad from A Veggie Venture
Cauliflower and Apple Salad from A Veggie Venture
Broccoli Salad with Thai Peanut Sauce from 28 Cooks