Bring the health benefit of a ‘bitter’ to your meal with this easy witlof salad.
- DF Dairy free
- GF Gluten free
- Ve Vegan
- Prep time 25 mins
- Serves 2 for a meal, or 4 as a side
- Difficulty easy
Steam mukimame for 3-5 minutes until warm and tender. Allow to cool. Meanwhile, cut the bottom of the witlof to allow you to gently separate the leaves. Wash the leaves, then dry in a salad spinner or clean tea towel. Thinly slice the radishes. Assemble the witlof, mukimame and radish in large salad bowl.
Heat a fry pan on medium heat. Add sesame seeds and salt and cook for 1-2 minutes. Sprinkle on salad. Using kitchen scissors, thinly slice seaweed snacks and spread evenly on salad.
Put salad dressing ingredients in a jar. Shake to combine, add to salad. Serve.
Bitter elements in plants (including herbal bitters) stimulate nerves in the mouth. This increases the secretions of gastric juices and bile, promoting better appetite and digestion.
Witlof is a somewhat underused vegetable in Australia that can be cooked or used raw in a salad. It’s in this recipe for its slightly bitter taste. Bitter foods and drinks are part of many other cultures, and there has been a greater awareness with the popularity of salads such as rocket and radicchio, as well as the aperitif bitter alcoholic beverages such as Campari and Aperol.
An aperitif taken before a meal prepares the digestive juices and promotes better digestion. Likewise, this tasty witlof salad is one way to incorporate a ‘bitter’ into your diet.
Apple cider vinegar is included in the dressing as a possible added benefit. However, while there seems to be many claims of the benefits of apple cider vinegar – such as a digestive aid – including bitter foods in the diet is preferable.
The soy beans in this salad taste like edamame from a Japanese restaurant and contain all the essential amino acids, providing a plant-based complete protein. To add to the Japanese flavour, toasted seaweed – sold as toasted seaweed snacks in health food stores and supermarkets – has been included. Seaweed is a ‘green vegetable’, providing plant-based omega 3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory benefits and can also support cardiovascular and brain health.
Add a red salad vegetable – radishes – and dress with this Dijon vinaigrette and you have a balanced taste in a fresh, summery salad.