In this delicious vegetarian salad, tiny florets of broccoli, baby corn and sugarsnap peas are blanched briefly and then tossed with crunchy raw vegetables in a soy and peanut butter dressing. Nutty-flavoured roasted kasha (buckwheat grain) adds texture. Serve as a starter with rye or pumpernickel bread.
Replace the bean sprouts with 1 can water chestnuts, about 200 g, drained and chopped. * For a broccoli and pasta salad to serve 4 as a main dish, make the dressing with tahini instead of peanut butter and flavour with 1 large crushed garlic clove and 8 shredded fresh basil leaves in place of the sugar and ginger. Cook 225 g (8 oz) orecchiette (little pasta ears) in boiling water for 10–12 minutes, adding the broccoli florets for the last 3 minutes of cooking. Drain well. Toss the pasta and broccoli into the dressing with the spring onions and red peppers, 2 tbsp capers, 8 chopped sun-dried tomatoes and 225 g (8 oz) halved cherry tomatoes (omit the sugarsnap peas, baby corn, pak choy and bean sprouts). Instead of kasha, sprinkle on 2 tbsp toasted pine nuts.
Broccoli is an excellent source of the antioxidants beta-carotene and vitamin C, and provides good amounts of the B vitamins B6, folate and niacin. It also contains a variety of phytochemicals, which studies suggest may help to protect against cancer. * Peanuts are a good source of protein, niacin and phosphorus. New research suggests that peanuts are also rich in a group of cancer-fighting compounds called phytosterols. * Sugarsnap peas are a good source of vitamin C, and offer more soluble fibre than ordinary peas as they are eaten pod and all.
A, B1, B6, C, E, folate * niacin, copper, zinc * B2, iron