Since today is Valentine’s Day, why not treat your significant other to a bit of romance in the form of delicious foods rich in cancer-preventive antioxidants and other nutrients? Dana Farber Cancer Institute teamed up with Chef Frank McClelland, owner of L’Espalier restaurant on Boylston Street, to provide you with three mouth-watering recipes that are perfect for a candle-light table or on a picnic blanket spread on the floor by the fireplace.
What’s even better, these foods contain a rainbow of colors that contain a wide range of different plant chemicals all working synergistically to help the body fend off cancer cells. I love the endive salad recipe below with its red and pink Valentine’s day accents; why not go one step further with heart-shaped red pepper slices? Simply buy the long baby red peppers and slice cross-wise.
1/4 cup golden raisins
1 navel orange, cut into sections, juice reserved
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
5 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon mustard
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 heads endive
3 red bell peppers, roasted and quartered
1/2 cup pitted and chopped kalamata olives
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
6 ounce ball buffalo mozzarella, sliced lengthwise into 5 pieces, then cut into strips
6 large multigrain crostini
Prepare multigrain crostini by rubbing a crushed garlic clove on a 3/4 inch thick slide of multigrain baguette, brush with olive oil, dust with salt and pepper, and place on a baking sheet in a 375 oven for 13 minutes, or until golden brown but still chewy.
Combine the raisins, reserved orange juice, and balsamic vinegar in a small bowl. Let the raisins soak for 30 minutes. Drain the raisins and set aside; reserve the marinating liquid. Whisk the olive oil, mustard, garlic, basil, marinating liquid, salt, and pepper together in a large bowl.
Cut the endive heads in half and then slice them thinly into sticks. Add the sliced endive, roasted peppers, olives, onion, orange segments, and soaked raisins to the bowl and toss. Add the mozzarella strips to the bowl. Toss again. Divide the salad among 6 bowls and top with the crostini.
You can also try Chef McClelland’s Poached Halibut à la Provençale and Raspberry, Honey, and Black Tea Sorbet. Download Dana Farber’s free iPhone app that contains other recipes for fighting cancer. Chef McClelland will be the honorary chef at Dana-Farber’s Chefs Cooking for Hope event next month.