Charred Napa Cabbage with Avocado, Crunchy Seeds, Citrus and Mint 


2 cups Napa cabbage
2 cups charred Napa cabbage
1 avocado, chopped
2 oranges, segmented
1 tbsp sherry vinegar
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt, to taste
1/2 cup sprouted lentils
1/4 cup mint, chiffonade
1/4 cup puffed wild rice (see technique below or substitute puffed quinoa)
2 tbsp sunflower seeds, toasted
2 tbsp pumpkin seeds, toasted

Cut Napa cabbage in half horizontally. Grill one half until you see a light char on one side (approximately five minutes). Let cool. Finely slice both the charred cabbage and the raw cabbage into a slaw. Place in a medium-sized bowl and add the avocado and orange segments. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sherry vinegar and olive oil, add salt to taste, then pour over cabbage and lightly mix. On a large serving platter/shallow bowl, pile cabbage mixture high on the centre of the plate. Sprinkle with sprouted lentils, mint, puffed wild rice and toasted sunflower and pumpkin seeds. Serve immediately.

To puff wild rice
Coat a frying pan with 1/4-inch of an oil with a high smoke point, such as grapeseed or sunflower oil (do not use olive oil). Heat over high until it reaches 500°, or just begins to smoke. Add 2 tbsp of uncooked wild rice. It will begin to puff. Quickly remove from heat. With a slotted spoon remove from pan and place on a paper towel lined plate. Season with salt to taste. Alternately, you can find puffed quinoa in most grocery stores; it makes a great substitute and adds a wonderful nutty crunch.

Recipe courtesy of Connie DeSousa & John Jackson, co-chefs/owners, Charbar restaurant, Calgary

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