Raw Broccoli Salad

Fact: the English language is constantly changing. We are sitting on fertile grounds people. Whether we want to lean in with excitement or pull back aghast, for better or worse, pop culture rules the roost. It goes without saying that we live in a world where words, terms and hashtags are regularly created, communicated via social media and become entwined in pop culture quicker than you can snap. Throw back to last year and the ALS bucket challenge. The organization ignited a much needed awareness for this terrible disease and the word spread like wildfire. Politicians, CEO's, celebrities and we commoners alike took home videos, challenged peers and in turn, became involved. Do you remember #BringBackOurGirls in response to the April 2014 kidnapping of 230 girls from a Nigerian school by the militant group Boko Haram? Lest we not forget #lovewins, which honored a big step towards equality. 

Nowadays, everyone and their brother now knows what a "selfie" is. I just plead that you refrain from using the awful selfie stick. "YOLO" (you only live once) was whimsically abused last year. Even I used it as a hashtag documenting a spectacular meal at Parm on Mulberry Street in Little Italy once upon a time. Order the chicken parm and baked ziti with gravy. They also serve Schaefer beer in a can. "Bae" or before anyone else and a way by which to refer to one's main squeeze. I have not yet tried this one on for size yet. Matthew would undoubtedly role his eyes with a smile and compare me to a Kardashian. "On fleek" or on point came to my attention recently. I rather like it. Actually, I love it. Beets and Bratwurst is on fleek. "Blessed". My brother Keith likes to employ this term and his tongue-in-cheek sarcasm makes me chortle. "Consciously uncouple". Danke schoen Gwyneth. "Alright, alright". Dazed and Confused anyone? "Twerk" and "nae nae", two terms that make me cringe and as for the latter, please slow down on posting films of yourself or others doing this dance. Seeing it once on YouTube was more than enough. "Polar Vortex" and "Snowmaggedon" to capture the Arctic hell many of us endured last year (some worse than others). "Turnt" or hyped up, "FOMO" (fear of missing out), "Hella" or extremely, "AF" i.e. As F&%$ (another adjective to add intensity) and a whole endless onslaught of others. 

When I moved to New York City in 2009, the recession gave way to the term "recessionista". Namely women who could still look good but on a budget. Are we debauching the English language? In the food department, I am regularly barraged with the term "detoxinista" and the recipes thereby associated. With this, the below fits the bill nicely. It pairs magically with a roast chicken. I encourage you to learn how to make this with your eyes closed. Seriously, challenge yourself to learn how to make five meals like the back of your hand. Whether it be as simple as an omelet or as elaborate as braised short ribs, there is great satisfaction in cooking from the gut. Your stomach, those of others as well as the feelings of empowerment and success will positively overwhelm you. Added bonus? You will not need a list at the grocery shop. #winning (Now here is a hashtag I can readily get on board with.)

Broccoli Salad with Garlic and Sesame Vinaigrette
Adapted from NYTimes Cooking


3 TBS red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 head of broccoli - cut into bite sized pieces
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves - finely diced
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tsp sesame oil


1. In a large bowl, add your vinegar and salt. Throw in the broccoli and toss gently to combine. Let this sit for around 30 minutes or so.

2. In a small saucepan, heat olive oil on medium heat. Throw in your garlic and cumin. Stir for around a minute. Now add the sesame oil and pepper flakes. Stir again. Pour mixture over the broccoli and toss well. Let sit for an hour at room temperature. Tastes great as leftovers. Bon appetit.

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