Cancer-Fighting Recipes From Philly’s Top Chefs

Marc Vetri, Michael Solomonov and Robert Aikens share three disease-kicking dishes that even kids will love

Michael Solomonov's Carrot and Apple Salad With Pine Nuts.

On Tuesday, June 14, Philly’s culinary greats, including Marc Vetri, Jeff Michaud and Jose Garces, will join forces with top chefs from across the country—think Bravo’s Top Chef‘s Tom Colicchio and the Food Network’s Iron Chef’s Michael Symon—for the Sixth Annual Great Chefs Event to benefit Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. Their mission: Fight childhood cancer, one dish at a time. To whet your appetite for the food-filled evening, we asked Vetri, Zahav’s Michael Solomonov and the Dandelion’s Robert Aikens to share their favorite kid-friendly, cancer-fighting recipes. Each dish is packed with cancer-killing antioxidants and, according to CHOP’s registered dietitian Beth Wallace, “there is a considerable amount of laboratory evidence that these food substances can slow or prevent changes in a cell.” So get ready to eat up. This is one time that it’s totally okay to pick off your kid’s plate.

Marc Vetri ‘s Tomato Marmalade and Semolina Sesame Bread
“I chose this Tomato Marmalade recipe because it’s actually one of my son’s favorites. He loves to put this in his mac and cheese, and will also eat it on some bread. It’s sweet, refreshing and good for you.”   —  Marc Vetri

4 cups chopped San Marzano tomatoes, drained
3 1/2 Tbsp. sugar
1 garlic clove
1 onion, minced
1/2 tsp. pepper flakes
1/2 Tbsp. chopped rosemary
Salt pepper to taste

Sweat onions and garlic in olive oil. Add tomatoes, sugar and pepper flakes and cook until thick, about one hour. Add rosemary, salt and pepper. Makes 1 jar.

Semolina Sesame Bread
2 2/3 cups durum flour
1 cup bread flour
3 tsp. fresh yeast
2 1/2 cups water
3 tsp. fine sea salt

Combine all ingredients. Mix on low speed for 3 minutes. Mix on medium speed for 4 minutes. Allow dough to rise for 40 minutes. Make a fold and rise for an additional 40 minutes. Shape and roll in sesame seeds. Allow to rise.  Bake at 465 for 45 minutes.

Robert Aikens’ Pink Grapefruit & Roasted Beet Salad With Spiced Walnuts
“The mix of tangy and sweet tastes so great that kids won’t even know they are eating their vegetables.” — Robert Aikens
Serves 6-8


For the vinaigrette
5/8 cup champagne vinegar
1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
3 Tbsp. finely chopped shallots
4 tsp. sugar
¾ tsp. Kosher salt
1 large pinch black pepper
1 cup vegetable oil
¾ cup olive oil
10 whole sprigs of tarragon, plus 2 Tbsp. chopped tarragon

For the spiced walnuts
1 ¼ c. walnut halves
1 tsp. salt
½ cup soft light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. smoked paprika
¼ cup soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp. tabasco sauce

For salad

2 large golden beets, trimmed and washed
5 sprigs thyme
3 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 pink grapefruits, peeled and segmented
4 cup cleaned baby mache salad
7 Tbsp. crumbled goat cheese

To make the vinaigrette, combine vinegar and whole tarragon leaves in a saucepan, and heat until it simmers. Remove from heat and let sit overnight. Combine vinegar with the rest of the ingredients, mix well, and add additional fresh tarragon before ready to serve. To make spiced nuts, preheat oven to 300F. Toss walnuts with all ingredients. Spread on a silpat, or coat a pan with non-stick cooking spray and roast for about 15 minutes, stirring often. Remove from oven and spread on pan while they cool, so they don’t stick together. To prepare the beats, preheat the oven to 355F. Coat the beets with olive oil, salt and thyme and wrap in tin foil. Roast in oven for about 30 minutes, then shut off heat and let them cool in the oven. Once cool, remove the foil, peel and dice into ½” cubes. Toss all ingredients, add salt and pepper, and serve.

Michael Solomonov’s Carrot and Apple Salad With Pine Nuts
“Kids will absolutely love this dish. The apple juice-soaked raisins create such a sweet taste—you will learn quickly that this is easiest way to get kids to eat something healthy.” — Michael Solomonov
Serves 4

1 cup peeled and shredded carrots
1/2 cup peeled and shredded apples
2 Tbsp. golden raisins
1/2 cup apple juice
1 Tbsp. orange juice
2 Tbsp. toasted pine nuts
1 tsp. kosher salt

Soak raisins in apple juice until they have absorbed all of the liquid. Mix raisins with all other ingredients. Chill in refrigerator or enjoy at room temperature.