insalata viola

Yesterday as I was walking through the olive grove I couldn’t help but notice all the new purple wildflowers that have popped this week. It seems that every few days a new color seems to dominate the land and I’ve been memorized by the sheer beauty and saturation all around me. Spring is such a magical time in Tuscany. 

I have a special affinity for the color purple in general, and on my plate. When it comes to our wellness, the color purple is your our ticket to healthy town! This particular pigment signifies the presence of anthocyanins, a type of antioxidant that combats inflammation, contributes to heart and brain health, while protecting and preventing a number of diseases. For instance, studies show that anthocyanins may aid in the prevention of mascular degeneration by protecting the eyes from free radical damage, increasing circulation and stabilizing collagen structures (which hold tissues together).

For more purple pigment power load up on beetroots, eggplant, blueberries, blackberries, black cherries, black raspberries, açaí, black currants, plums, raisins, and pomegranates.

If you don’t happen to have figs, for this particular salad any dried fruit would be fabulous. Prunes, dried black cherries, currants, and even dark raisins.

Ingredients:
3 Tbsp. nuovo olive oil
3 Tbsp. lemon juice + zest
1 Tbsp. raw honey or maple syrup)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 ½ tsp. sea salt (to taste)

 

1 cup / 140g pumpkin seeds
1 red cabbage /1kg
1 cup dried figs, chopped
1 bunch purple carrots (regular orange carrots are fine too)
1 cup each chopped parsley and mint, leaves only

Directions:
1. Whisk all dressing ingredients together and set aside.
2. Using a mandolin or very sharp knife, slice the cabbage as thinly as possible. Place in a very large bowl. Slice the carrots horizontally into rounds, or as desired, add to cabbage. Wash the herbs well, spin dry, dice the parsley (including stems) and mint (leaves only). Add to the bowl.
3. In a dry skillet over medium heat, lightly toast the pumpkin seeds until fragrant. Remove from heat and set aside.
4. Pour dressing over the veggies and herbs and toss well to coat. Add pumpkin seeds and fold to combine. Season to taste (the salad may need more salt at this point). Let stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes, toss before serving and enjoy. Buon appetito.

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