Saturday, November 20, 2010

Root of Good & Evil

A celery root, originally uploaded by riptideredsf.
Last night was a flurry of activity in Michele's Little Kitchen. It was my first foray into what I'm thinking will be my cookbook challenge. My first inclination was to crack open Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. Randomly I chose the Celery Root and Apple Salad and as good a place as any to start since it invoked one of my new credos to try something new...celery root. The recipe looked simple. Few ingredients. All good. Shopping list? easy: celery root & granny smith apple oh and some italian parsley & sour cream for the mustard vinaigrette.
I do have to give myself kudos for when I flipped to the recipe for the Mustard Vinaigrette I had most of the 12 ingredients on hand including capers!
There was another recipe I'd been coveting for about a week now from Foods of the Greek Islands: Soutzoukakia Lemonata (or Meatballs with Rice and Herbs in Lemon Broth). I'd originally been looking for a different use for the ground beef I had in the freezer. Again I pretty much had all the ingredients on hand and really needed to use up a drawer full of herbs that were teetering of the edge of freshness. The only thing I needed was white wine.
Just as I was beginning my bike ride home, it started to rain. I did not let that deter me. I made my three stops, getting wetter & colder with each stop. I was determined as I'd put kitchen night off a couple of times and had already transfered the meat into the fridge. "You WILL cook tonite"
First stop was the library for Dorie Greenspans Around my French Table which I'd almost forgotten I'd ordered. Perfect timing since Thanksgiving is five days away.
Next stop Richmond Produce (I love this place 'cuz the prices are always low and the quality is comparable to the farmers when I can't get there). I don't know what I first thought when I looked at that celery root. It was hideous. I passed right over it the first time. I was expecting something that looked like a fennel bulb I guess. The idea of tackling that root was repelling and thrilling. So game on Evil Looking Celery Root! Got my granny smith then onto the wine shop for a bottle of Barefoot chardonay...on sale. Sweet.
Five minutes later I bungle my wet self and bike into the lobby of my building and trek my grocery bags up the stairs. A hot shower and a cold glass of wine later I tackled the celery root with a little instruction from VC4E. The salad was lovely and deliciously crunchy and that Mustard Vinaigrette? gorgeous.

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