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MY COOKBOOK

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21.5.14

BROCCOLI STALK SALAD


Unless you peel and cook the stalk of the broccoli with the florets, you always have broccoli stems left. You can put it into a soup or make a stalk salad. They sell something similar in the supermarket, I bought it once, but I found it rudely hot and I never bought it again. I thought who buys this awful stuff? 

Speaking of human taste buds... they are vastly different; both in type and in numbers. What you or I may find pleasant could send someone else into a tailspin of revulsion. Those of us with a lot of taste buds are referred to as tasters but there are people who are virtual non tasters. In comparison non tasters have a small fraction of taste buds and their preference for spicy food makes a lot of sense.

Cuisines evolved from native food sources. Climate, evolution and genetics also impact the type of foods we like. As we age we all start loosing our taste buds. Smoking will greatly curtail both sense of taste and smell. It is a misnomer that children should be introduced to certain types of foods early. If you can feed broccoli to a toddler, it has nothing to do with you being a better parent. Your kid just has fewer taste buds than the child who wants nothing but carbohydrates. It is not about setting a good example or making good food choices either. Some children would rather starve than eat vegetables. Healthy foods such as broccoli could be revolting for a child who has overactive taste buds. As you begin to loose some of your taste buds foods you used to hate as a child can become enjoyable. But the reason is entirely biological.

   

Human culture rests on experience and for the most part isn't science based. We tend to navigate the world with myth based knowledge, not much differently than our parents did before us. Some of the most enduring are the myths centered on health, food, body weight and exercise. Add to that the chase after profit and the manipulations of the various industries and you have a mixed bag of misinformation and bad science to sort through. The one thing you cannot do is argue with belief or with fashion. Those seem to rule much of what we do, how we do it and why we do it in the first place. We look back to our forefathers blood letting and smearing grease on burns and shudder. But a few generations hence people will think we were stark raving mad too. As my love often says: “What do you expect? We just got off the tree” 


3 broccoli stalks 
1 carrot 
2 cups cold water 
2 Tbsp sugar 
3 Tbsp vinegar 
1 Tbsp 
extra virgin olive oil

The bottom half of the broccoli stalk is not woody. Don't chop it off. Only a tiny section is woody. Start with peeling the stalk and you will be amazed at how little you have to cut off the bottom once the woody layers are removed. Underneath there is a tender center, don't throw half of it away. 

• Peel, trim and wash the broccoli and the carrot. 
• Cut them into matchstick sized pieces and set them aside. 
• In a medium sized bowl dissolve the sugar in water and add the vinegar. 
• Add the prepared vegetables. 
• Season it with salt and pepper and toss. 
• Let the vegetables soak in the vinegar mixture for one hour. 
• Drain and discard the brine. 
• Just before serving drizzle the salad with olive oil and toss.

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I began to post recipes for my family and it turned out to be a work in progress. "zsuzsa is in the kitchen" has over 900 recipes of Hungarian and international recipes. My recipes are organized into a cookbook format. On top of the page click on the cookbook to get access to all my recipes. If I ever figure out how to add a printer friendly gadget I will add it. In the meantime feel free to cut and paste. Happy cooking!

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