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Recipe: Purple Rain Salad

Appetite for Change: Soulful Recipes From a North Minneapolis Kitchen will be available in July 2024 from University of Minnesota Press. © 2024 by Appetite for Change, Inc. Princess Titus is co-founder of Appetites for Change.


The women in my family were always growing and cooking food, no matter where we lived. My grandmother Odessa, or the “Big O,” stood 4 feet 10 inches and got her culinary arts degree when she was 54 years old. My other grandmother, Laura or “E-ma,” lived in the projects of Chicago’s South Side, in a 16-floor cinder block building without any grass. E-ma loved to check in on the young mothers in her building. If they didn’t have dinner plans, she would organize and feed the whole floor. After dinner she would teach women how to make tea cakes and darn socks. E-ma understood: food makes community. — Princess Titus


DRESSING

1⁄2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1⁄4 cup pomegranate juice
1⁄4 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh gingerroot 1⁄2 teaspoon salt

SALAD

1 cup shredded red cabbage
1⁄4 cup chopped unpeeled purple daikon radish 1⁄2 cup coarsely shredded carrots
1 cup halved red grapes
1⁄2 cup blueberries
1⁄4 cup finely chopped red onion
1 cup cooked brown rice
6 cups mixed salad greens
1 cup finely shredded raw, peeled red beets

To make the dressing: In a blender, process together the oil, pomegranate juice, raspberries, vinegar, ginger, and salt until smooth.

To make the salad: In a large bowl, toss together the cabbage, daikon, carrots, grapes, blueberries, onions, and rice. Then toss in enough of the dressing to lightly coat. Arrange the salad greens on individual plates or a large serving platter. Pile the tossed salad over the greens. Drizzle with a little more dressing, then garnish with the shredded beets.

To cook brown rice: Put 1⁄2 cup brown rice and about 4 cups water in a saucepan with a generous pinch of salt. Set over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the rice is tender, about 40 minutes. Remove from heat and allow the rice to stand, covered for about 8 minutes. Drain off any excess water.