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Posts Tagged ‘Salsas’

 

These ugly looking things are celery root.  I’ve never cooked with celery root, and not even sure if I’ve ever eaten it.  Nevertheless, this recipe for celery root soup has intrigued me ever since I saw it in Food and Wine last year.

I’m not  a huge fan of celery, mostly because it’s just stringy and weird.  When I cut the root open and discovered it smelled exactly like celery, I got a little nervous.  I wound up doctoring the recipe a bit to try to balance out the celery flavor.  Lucky for me, this soup was indeed good.  While celery root smells like celery, it tastes a little earthier and, even better, no weird strings.  I will definitely cook with it again.  The version below is my version.

The original recipe in Food and Wine suggested pairing it with clementine toasts.  I had picked up a bunch of satsuma mandarins at the farmers’ market, so I thought I’d try pulling it off.  The relish was really, really good.  Sort of like a marmalade-chutney type of spread.  However, segmenting satsumas is something I will never, ever do again.  Lots of work to produce about a teaspoon of segment from one mandarin.  Argh.  I used about seven of them, when the recipe recommended two, and made a giant mess in my kitchen.  So, while delicious, I recommend trying this with normal sized oranges.

Everything here is local, except for the mustard seeds.  The bread comes from Acme bakery, the wine from St. Supery in Napa, all produce comes from the farmers’ market, and the dairy from Clover Stornetta in Petaluma.

Celery Root Soup
Inspired by Food and Wine, original recipe can be found here.

Ingredients
2 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 medium leek, white and tender green parts only, thinly sliced
3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 1/2-3 pounds celery root, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 cup water
1/3 cup heavy cream
Salt, pepper, and parsley to serve

Directions
In a saucepan, melt the butter. Add the leeks and cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until softened, about 4 minutes.  

Add the garlic and the white wine, scraping up any bits that have accumulated on the bottom.  Add the celery root, broth and water.  Bring to a simmer and cook until the celery root is tender, about 20 minutes.

Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender.  Return to the saucepan and stir in the cream.  Season with salt and pepper and garnish with parsley.

Mandarin Relish Toasts
Inspired by Food and Wine, original recipe can be found here.

Ingredients
2-8 firm clementines, mandarins, or oranges
1 medium shallot, minced
1/2 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
Toasted slices of bread

Directions
Remove the peel and white pith from the oranges.  Working over a skillet, cut between the membranes to release the sections and squeeze the juice from the membranes into the skillet.  It’s hard for me to estimate how many you’ll need.  It depends on the orange, your citrus segmenting skills, and how many toasts you want.  The relish is really good, so I recommend making a decent amount and aiming to have about 1/2 cup of segments plus juice in your pan.  

Add the shallot, vinegar and mustard seeds.  Cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until most of the juice has evaporated and the fruit has started to break down, about 2 minutes.

Let the relish cool to room temperature.  Season with salt. Spread the relish over the toasts and serve with the soup.

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Make melon salsa.

I made this a while back, when we were still getting boxes from our CSA.  I like melons, but I don’t love them.  I probably would order the healthy side of fruit option with a sandwich instead of fries a lot more often if it wasn’t usually just a big pile of cantelope and honeydew chunks, with a half a strawberry thrown in so that they can actually argue that it is indeed a fruit salad.

This however was a wonderful way to use up the very gorgeous melon we got from Eatwell.   I’m not sure exactly what kind of melon it was, as the outside skin was a gorgeous shade of yellow, but the inside tasted like cantelope. 

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I think this recipe would work with any basic cantelope or honeydew type of melon, though I think watermelon would be too watery.

I found this recipe on the always amazing blog, Smitten Kitchen, who in turn based hers on a variation in Gourmet.  I changed things up a bit using what I had in the fridge, and brought it to a barbeque with some tortilla chips.  It was a huge hit.

Cantaloupe Salsa
Adapted from Gourmet and Smitten Kitchen

Makes about 3 cups of salsa

2 cups finely diced cantaloupe or other melon (about a half a melon, maybe a little less)
1/4 cup finely diced red onion
1-2 sweet gypsy peppers (depending on the size), diced.  If you can’t find gypsy peppers, I would use one small red bell pepper, chopped very finely.
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 (2-inch-long) fresh hot red or green chile, minced (use the seeds if you want extra heat)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix everything together and eat as soon as possible.  After about 2-3 hours it will start turning watery and not attractive, so you can’t really make this too far ahead.

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Unfortunately, that day threw me another lemon…or melon..and my digital camera is no more.  So, if any food bloggers out there have recommendations for a good one, please let me know!

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