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02 Apr, 2014

Raw vegetable salad with Black Garlic dressing

We are constantly drawing on influences from Asia when creating new recipes and one ingredient that is becoming increasingly popular over here is Black Garlic.

Recipes

Ingredients

4 cloves black garlic, finely sliced
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 tsp malden salt
1 handful radishes
2 courgettes
½ red onion
½ green pepper, finely diced
1 handful cashew nuts, roasted and chopped to garnish
Coriander to garnish

Method

Apart from offering a myriad of health benefits, an interesting perspective is doing a comparison to white garlic, especially as it starts off as ordinary white garlic. It goes through a fermentation process to produce cloves that are dark, liquorice-like in texture with a sweet balsamic flavour (without any additives or preservatives). More info here: http://www.blackgarlic.co.uk/health-benefits/

Key factors: it has nearly twice the amount of antioxidants as white garlic, is low in fat, rich in natural sugars and amino acids. It has also been found to help lower blood pressure, prevent heart disease and reduce the risk of cancer.

Funnily enough, people carry it around with them as a snack in Asia, so it's not only an ingredient but also eaten directly; the perfect nutrient-dense nibble!

We have used it raw in this delicious salad. The sweetness is perfectly balanced with zesty lemon, giving the dish a really fresh yet deep flavor.

To make:

Place the black garlic in a pestle and mortar with the lemon juice, oil and salt and gently bash the cloves until the liquid has turned a dark brown colour. The tough texture of the black garlic does not lend itself well to being broken down so the pieces will remain intact. This is fine as the flavour will still infuse with the lemon juice and rapeseed oil.

Finely slice the radishes and using a peeler, create long thin strips of courgette. Place them in a bowl with the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Serve the salad in large bowls and dot the pieces of black garlic, from the dressing, around the vegetables. Sprinkle with the cashew nuts and lemon zest and garnish with the coriander. Serve the dressing in a side pot; it is very dark in colour so best to add to the dish as late as possible.

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