Vibrant Duet Salad

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It was the best kind of connection: effortless. Dunja just appeared at the market one day and within five minutes of her arrival we were chatting as though we had known each other for years. It was while we were washing dishes that I discovered that Dunja is a friend of one of my first culinary heroes, Christina Pirello (Technically, Christina Pirello was my second culinary hero after Graham Kerr, whose show I used to watch religiously back when I was sporting footsie pajamas). I also discovered that Dunja practices a vegan macrobiotic cooking style, which was exciting for me since I rarely encountered macrobiotics during my time in the midwest.

Dunja is from Croatia, ¬†which she informed me is one of the largest (if not THE largest?) macrobiotic institutes in the world. She loves food and cooking as much as I do, which is apparent from her vibrant and delicious original vegan macrobiotic recipes. If you want to be amazed, check out her site http://www.rentajchefa.com/recipes.php (click on the “English” button in the upper right corner).

In an act that sealed our friendship, Dunja and I prepared these salads together side by side. I emptied out all of the vegetables from our refrigerator, and lay them gingerly on the counter. Then I handed Dunja a knife and a cutting board, and took one of each for myself. It was exciting to work side by side with a chef that I admire and respect, and I couldn’t wait to see what she would come up with given the choice of ingredients. Here is what was created:

Emily’s Cabbage Radish Slaw
1/4 shredded red cabbage
2 small kohlrabi, peeled and shredded
8 radishes, shredded
1/2 Tbsp ume plum vinegar
2 tsp dark honey
1/2 tbsp brown rice syrup
1/2 tbsp lime juice
1/2 cup ground cherries

Dunja’s Arugula Salad with Roasted Garlic Tomato Croutons
1/2 cup baby tomatoes
2 cups arugula
1 small sliced raw zucchini
1/2 clove garlic
1 spring onion, diced
1/2 cup basil
2 Tbsp olive oil
salt
1/2 Tbsp ume plum vinegar
1 Tbsp cider vinegar
1 Tbsp capers
Toss salad together and garnish with:
2 slices toasted sprouted grain bread spread with roasted garlic tomato sauce

Christina’s vote: “This salad was wow, wow!”

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