Friday, June 26, 2015

Hypoallergenic Broccoli Salad

     Most broccoli salad relies heavily on mayonnaise, which generally contains multiple allergens (corn, soy, eggs). I think the dressing I describe here is tastier, as well as containing fewer allergens. The maple syrup complements the bacon, and the mustard adds depth to the broccoli, to which it is related.

     It is important to pay attention to the sources of your ingredients. Bacon, for example, can contain corn syrup and/or soy additives, but doesn't always; Applegate Sunday Bacon, for example, consists entirely of pork, water, salt, cane sugar and celery powder and so is a good choice at my house.  Use real maple syrup, not maple-flavored corn syrup; besides being corn-free, it tastes a whole lot better. Don't skip the step about peeling the tomatoes: one goal of peeling them is to get rid of their wax coating, which may contain corn, soy, or dairy ingredients. If you need to avoid white vinegar (corn, yeast), mix up your own mustard (click on the link provided: mustard is surprisingly easy to prepare yourself).

     4-6 slices bacon (See Bacon in the Glossary)
     4 c. broccoli cut into small florets
     2 medium vine-ripened tomatoes (See Produce in the Glossary)
     3 green onions, trimmed and sliced
     (optional) 1-2 Tb. chopped dill leaves 
(See Produce in the Glossary)
     dressing (recipe follows)

     Fry the bacon and cut it into chunks; set aside. Prepare a large bowlful of very cold water. Fill a medium pot with salted water and bring it to a boil. Add the broccoli to the boiling water, bring it back to a boil, and cook for one minute. Dredge the broccoli out of the boiling water and immediately get it into the bowl of cold water. Leave it there until thoroughly chilled; drain it thoroughly and set it aside.  Get a fresh bowlful of cold water ready. Dunk the tomatoes into the boiling water. Scoop them out after about 15 seconds and get them into the bowl of cold water.  Leave them there for a couple of minutes. Take out, peel, seed, cut into chunks and set aside.

     Just before serving, combine the bacon, broccoli, tomatoes, green onions, dill and dressing. Adjust salt to taste.

The dressing:
     3 Tb. freshly squeezed lime juice (See Juice in the Glossary)
     3 Tb. olive or other oil (See Oil in the Glossary)
     2 Tb. prepared mustard
     2 Tb. maple syrup
     1/2 tsp. salt (See Salt in the Glossary)


Monday, June 15, 2015

Minty Lemonade

     It can be surprisingly difficult to find something to drink (besides plain water) that doesn't contain any corn, yeast or other allergens.  Lemonade, of course, can easily be made at home with beet or cane sugar (rather than corn syrup and dodgy additives).  I think it is particularly good infused with a bit of mint.

     1/2 c. fresh mint leaves, washed and chopped (See Produce in 
          the Glossary)
     2 c. sugar (See Sugar in the Glossary)
     3/4 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice (See Juice in the Glossary)

     Combine the mint leaves and sugar in 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, making sure all the sugar dissolves.  Set aside to to steep for one hour; strain into  a pitcher.  Stir in the lemon juice and 6 more cups of water and chill.

Leeks with Olive Oil (zeytinya─čl─▒ pirasa)

     Turkish cuisine has a whole category of dishes in which vegetables cooked with olive oil and lemon juice are served cold. (Another is favas with olive oil.) Leeks cooked this way, besides being a delicious, classic hot-weather food, contain none of the common allergens. If you pay attention to how you source your rice, sugar and salt, they can easily be corn-free as well.

     1 onion, chopped
     2 carrots, sliced
     1/3 c. olive oil (See Oil in the Glossary)
     salt (See Salt in the Glossary)
     the white parts of 3 large leeks, cut into 1-inch chunks
     1 large potato, cut as if for french fries
     1/3 c. rice (See Rice in the Glossary)
     1 tsp. sugar (See Sugar in the Glossary)        
     2 lemons (See Juice in the Glossary)

     Gently saute the onion and carrots with a good sprinkle of salt and half of the olive oil just until the onions are softened and translucent.  Do not brown; set aside. In a large pot, gently saute the leeks in the remaining olive oil with another good sprinkle of salt until they have softened considerably. Do not brown.  Add the onions and carrots to the pot with the leeks; also add the potato, rice, sugar, juice from one lemon and 2-1/2 cups of water. Bring to a boil; stir in the rice and bring back to a boil. Cover, and simmer until the leeks are soft and the rice is cooked, 20-30 minutes. Adjust salt and lemon to taste; chill. Remove from the fridge a few minutes before serving to allow the olive oil to reliquefy.