Cook Up a Cure: Cancer-Fighting Recipes from Philly Chefs

We asked chefs Robert Aikens, Marc Vetri and Michael Solomonov to design recipes with cancer-fighting ingredients

Robert Aikens's pink grapefruit and roasted beet salad. Photograph by Brett Thomas; styling by Lisa Russell

It’s National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, in case you haven’t gotten the memo. We’re taking it as a great excuse to get in the kitchen and start cooking. Naturally.

Here’s why: We asked some of Philly’s top chefs to create delicious recipes that use antioxidant-rich, cancer-fighting ingredients, ones that have been shown to slow or prevent cell changes. That’s what we call a win-win.

The recipes are below. We’ve highlighted each cancer-fighting ingredient in pink—what else?

So go ahead and grab a fork. It’s time to eat up.

Pink Grapefruit & Roasted Beet Salad
From Robert Aikens / Serves 6 to 8

2 large golden beets, trimmed and washed
3 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
5 sprigs fresh thyme
Salt, to taste
2 large pink grapefruits, peeled and segmented
7 Tbsp. crumbled goat cheese
4 c. cleaned baby mâche
Black pepper, to taste
1/2 to 1 c. vinaigrette (see recipe below), or to taste

Directions: Preheat oven to 355ºF. Toss beets with olive oil, thyme and salt to taste. Wrap beets in foil and roast about 50 minutes, or until tender. Turn off heat and let rest in oven 30 minutes. Remove beets from oven and let cool, then remove and discard foil. Peel beets and dice into 1/2-inch cubes. In a large bowl, toss beets with grapefruit, cheese and mâche, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add enough vinaigrette to just coat the salad leaves, then toss again and serve.

Yields 2 3/4 cups

1/2 c. plus 2 Tbsp. champagne vinegar
10 sprigs fresh tarragon, plus 2 Tbsp.
chopped fresh tarragon
1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
3 Tbsp. finely chopped shallots
4 tsp. sugar
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
Large pinch black pepper
1 c. vegetable oil
3/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil

Directions: Combine vinegar and tarragon sprigs in a saucepan over medium heat; bring to a simmer. Remove pan from heat and let stand, covered, overnight. Combine with all remaining ingredients except chopped tarragon and mix well. (This can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.) Stir in the chopped tarragon just before serving.

Per serving: 363 calories, 32 g. fat, 6.2 g. sat. fat, 6 g. protein, 14 g. carb, 2 g. fiber, 8 g. sugar, 13 mg. cholesterol