When You’re the Alternative at the Pig Roast
“Did you mean guacamole? But how can that be made with broccoli?” Anonymous
What did you do this 4th of July weekend? Well, I was invited to prepare a few dishes for my local farmers market Pig Roast that might off set the heavy yang pork flavors wafting from one booth to the other. A whole, huge pig torched midnight black rested beneath the lid of a giant black roaster set up just for this special occasion. And the line never once wore down to a trickle. Instead eager beavers, mouths wet in anticipation, looked to their plates for salvation.
My culinary effort was to be the alternative to the roasted pork, and I took full advantage to admonish the crowd to eat their healthy veggies. But what vegetable can stand up to the flavor of the rutting pig? Well, none other than the powerful cruciferous duo of broccoli and cabbage. The two recipes I created did indeed stand their own against the charred pork on the bar-be. I knew there had to be plenty of flavor, a “Wow” surprise factor and then the realization that this was actually good for you. There was also the challenge of using what is now in season and the field was narrowed down a bit, but not by much. I present to you here my incredible Broccomole (not a misprint) and the quintessential Pesto Cole Slaw that every summer outing demands.
The recipe for Pesto Cole Slaw was created in the early morning as the sun lifted over the lip of the garden fence while me and my pups, Maya and Seamus, harvested fresh herbs for the afternoon’s festivities. The dew still wet upon the leaves may have something to do with the flavor, but then I bow to the Earth Mother in all her glory, generosity, and culinary genius.
Yield: 4 servings
½ cup fresh cilantro leaves
½ cup fresh parsley
1 clove garlic or 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1 scallion, chopped
2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon sea salt
2 cups broccoli stems and tops, lightly steamed or blanched and cooled
1 ½ Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon tahini (sesame butter)
2 teaspoons Garlic Red Pepper South River miso or Sweet White Miso (won’t pack the same punch)
1. Combine cilantro, parsley, garlic, scallion and olive oil in a food processor and puree until smooth (as in a pesto consistency).
2. Add the cooked broccoli and pulse to break down and combine.
3. Add the tahini and miso and run the processor, stopping to scrape down the sides from time to time.
4. When at a spreadable consistency adjust seasoning and salt to taste. Serve on crackers, crudités, or chips, preferably without the roasted pork.
In the picture I served it with grilled tempeh and arugula on a gluten-free millet bread and it was really delicious.
Next: Pesto Cole Slaw
1 green cabbage, chopped
½ red cabbage, chopped
Handful fresh basil leaves, rinsed
Handful fresh parsley, rinsed
2 handfuls fresh arugula (spicier the better), rinsed
10 chive stalks, rinsed
2 cups ends of young spring onions (the green, above ground parts), rinsed, chopped
¼ cup Extra virgin olive oil
½ cup Vegenaise (a good quality mayonnaise is fine)
1. In a food processor pulse the cabbage half a processor bowl at a time. Move the pulsed cabbage to a larger bowl, sprinkling a small amount of salt over the cabbage, before adding more cabbage to the processor.
2. When all the cabbage has been pulsed into small pieces get your hands in and toss the cabbage well, mixing the two colors and lightly coating with salt. Cover with a cloth towel and allow to sit for at least 1-2 hours.
3. Meanwhile, rinse and dry the processor. Add the basil, parsley, arugula, chives and onion greens to the processor along with the olive oil and blend to a smooth consistency.
4. Spoon in the Vegenaise and continue to blend until smooth.
5. Spoon the pesto aioli into the cabbage making sure to mix well. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.