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Bon Appétit Magazine on Sea Vegetables

HEALTHY INGREDIENT

eat your (sea) veggies

Incorporating more fish into our diet is important but there are plenty of other delicious, nutritious foods in the sea. One of our faves: sea vegetables (a.k.a. seaweed), which are packed with lots of good-for-you things like iodine, folate, iron, vitamin K. and calcium. Among the most commonly eaten varieties is noni, the paper-like black seaweed that’s used to make sushi rolls. Kombu, a kind of kelp, is combined with bonito (tuna) flakes to make dashi, the classic Japanese soup stock. Other tasty sea veggies include hijiki (a black seaweed with a slight anise flavor) and wakame (a dark green seaweed that’s perfect in soups).

Tim Cushman, chef-owner of Boston’s O Ya, says. “Sea vegetables add an incredible depth of flavor to so many dishes. It’s all about umami [the Japanese idea of savoriness.” At home, Cushman likes to toast a sheet of noni in a hot skillet, then crumble it over scrambled eggs.

Look for sea vegetables at some supermarkets and at natural foods stores and Asian markets. Pollution in the ocean can cause sea plants to absorb higher levels of metals and unwanted chemicals, so buy organic seaweed whenever possible. —NINA ELDER

36/ BONAPPETIT.COM FEBRUARY 2010 PHOTOGRAPH BY NIGEL COX

in the kitchen

EASY WINTER SALADS

Have you resolved to eat more greens this year? Start now, with four great winter salad ideas— from the BonAppétit Test Kitchen— that you can enjoy today.

Toss very thinly sliced cabbage (or buy a bag of the presliced stuff) with chopped green onions, chopped fresh cilantro, a minced serrano chile, a mounded spoonful of mayo, and a drizzle of fresh lime juice.

Combine baby spinach leaves with chopped dried figs, crumbled blue cheese, and spiced pecans. Toss with a Sherry vinaigrette.

Make a quick white wine
vinaigrette:
mix in a pressed garlic clove. Marinate paper-thin slices of red onion in the dressing while you steam some green beans just until crisp-tender. Toss the beans with the onions and dressing.

Mix arugula leaves with chopped radicchio and endive. Toss with a red wine vinaigrette. Top with Parmesan cheese shavings.

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