The entree, of course, could be none other than sliced barbecue beef from Mesquite (TX) Barbecue, the eatery founded by our legendary Uncle Herbert. Though he's long gone from this earth (read about him in the chapter "One Day in January" in my first cookbook, Way Back in the Country Garden), barbecue prepared his way still can be purchased at this downtown Mesquite eatery. No important family occasion can occur without being graced by this dish, which we'd order as a take-out and bring to the meal.
But that barbecue beef called for some complimentary side dishes. One I had chosen was Broccoli and Tomato Salad that featured tomatoes and avocado as mix-ins. As each day goes by, broccoli gets more accolades as a super-food—one that people need as a diet staple because
of its health benefits. Broccoli’s noteworthy nutrients include vitamin C, vitamin A (mostly as beta-carotene), folic acid, calcium, and fiber. Calcium does more than build strong bones. Research shows that this mineral may play a role in controlling high blood pressure; it also may work to prevent colon cancer. Guacamole and tomatoes get rave reviews in the "must-have" foods area also.
A dressing that featured mustard, horseradish, and fat-free sour cream as its basic elements was tangy and provided a great marinade. The red-and-green salad mixture made a beautiful dish as we served our food buffet-style.
Munchkin won't remember the special weekend ceremony at the church and can relive it only through photos in his album and a video taken of the event. But we'll never dine on Broccoli and Tomato Salad in the future without it reminding us of this memorable day that we hope will help set a dear little boy on life's right pathway.
Broccoli and Tomato Salad
2 small heads broccoli (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1/4 cup water
3 cups grape (or cherry) tomatoes, halved
1 large avocado, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 onion, sliced thin
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
1 tablespoon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt (or salt substitute)
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup fat-free sour cream
Blend dressing ingredients with a whisk. Cut broccoli into florets. In a medium sauce pan cook broccoli in water over medium heat for 4-5 minutes or until broccoli is desired softness; drain and cool. Combine broccoli, tomatoes, guacamole, and onion. Pour dressing over the salad. Mix to coat. Serve warm or chill before serving. Makes 4-6 servings.