|Notice how the string beans are no longer purple. Blame cooking!|
When I was little, I was obsessed with "Purple Ice Cream" (ask any of my relatives- it was pretty crazy). I had no idea what purple ice cream tasted like, all I knew was that I liked purple, and so I HAD to have purple ice cream. And very often I did. My cousin once tried to dissuade me from it, convincing me that I wouldn't like the flavor, so in response, my 3-year-old self took his money and threw it into the pool. Not buying me purple ice cream? Not getting your money.
Well I just had me a purple craving today! So I went to the store and bought myself a pint of blueberries and a bag of deep red-purple cherries and spent the afternoon eating it all, then went and got some beets and juiced those, and then, still not satisfied, decided to make a purple salad with the purple string beans my husband picked up from the farmers market. Lot's of purple. I know.
Purple/blue foods are incredibly underrepresented in the American diet, but they are incredibly good for us! They contain substances that lower the risk of heart disease, lower the risk of urinary tract infections, assist with memory, and have loads of antioxidants. The food industry seems to be getting on the bandwagon and "fortifying" things like juice and candy with blueberry or acai extracts, but that's all just gimmick, and nature does it all better anyway.
So I started this salad with the purple string beans, which I realized on steaming them, lose their purple color and thus their purple benefits, so that was sad. But I added in beets (purple-red), shallots (purple-white), and radish, and I topped it all off with some purple kale. Can't find purple stuff? Just make this salad anyway! Or have blueberries, purple grapes, eggplant, plums, or blackberries. Either way, fantastic health benefits!
|Purple String Beans. I say eat them raw since the steaming gets rid of all the purple pigment.|
Makes 2 large entree-sized portions, or 4 side salads
1/3 lb purple string beans, stems removed, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp red wine vinegar, divided
1 large beet, sliced
3 small radishes, sliced
1 small shallot, sliced very thin
1/2 cup finely chopped purple kale
1 tsp olive oil
Salt/pepper to taste
Steam the string beans for about 2-3 minutes until slightly tender but still very crisp (As mentioned, they will sadly lose most of their purple pigment). Place in small bowl and add garlic and 1 tsp red wine vinegar. Place this bowl in a larger bowl with ice and water to stop the cooking process (make sure no water gets into the beans). Allow this to sit for about 10 min. Meanwhile, prepare the beet slices by steaming them. Set aside to cool a few minutes. Then, in a large bowl, toss together beet slices, string beans, radish slices, shallot, and kale. Add the remaining tsp red wine vinegar, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste, and serve.