Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Asparagus with Vinaigrette...

This recipe is from I discovered Molly Wizenberg, the writer of the blog, when I found her book - "A Homemade Life" - in a book store in New York last August... As soon as I started reading, I liked her style of writing, her stories, and also the simplicity of most of the recipes... I read that book as if it was a novel, because of her addictive storytelling ability, and I follow her blog since then...

Yesterday, for the first time I tried one of her recipes. My husband has became a fan of asparagus recently, so I was searching online to see an easy and potentially tasty recipe, and found this one in Orangette - calls it Asparagus Vinaigrette... I changed the presentation and ate it on top of a slice of toasted baguette, and enjoyed it very much... I also eliminated the sprinkling lemon zest option, and used sliced hard-boiled eggs rather than chopped.

Here is the recipe...


1 bunch asparagus
2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
5 tablespoon olive oil
Half of medium size garlic
2 hard-boiled eggs (to be sliced and used on top of the crostini)
Freshly grounded black pepper
Approx. 8 slices of french baguette (diagonally sliced)


1- Boil 2 hard-boiled eggs (the amount of egg may change according to the size of asparagus bunch you use). I boiled the eggs the same way as recommended by Orangette: Put 2 eggs in a saucepan filled with cold water. Wait until the water boils over medium-high heat. When it starts boiling, remove the pan from the stove, and cover it. Wait for 12 minutes. Then rinse them in cold water. Peel them when they are cold and slice the eggs.

2- Break or cut off the woody ends of the asparagus and wash them. Fill a big skillet with water and put some salt into the water. When the water boils, add the asparagus and cook them for one and a half to two minutes. The asparagus should look bright green and still be crunchy. Drain the asparagus and run cool water over to stop the cooking process.

3- In a small jar, mix the ingredients of the vinaigrette: lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, oil, garlic and salt. Shake the jar to emulsify. Taste, and if necessary, add a bit more oil and/or salt. This makes as much as half a cup of vinaigrete.

4- Cut each asparagus into 2 and mix them with some of the vinaigrette.

5- Toast slices of baguette... On each slice of baguette, place 3 asparagus pieces next to each other, spoon some more vinaigrette on top, and top it with a slice of boiled egg. Sprinkle some salt and freshly grounded black pepper above all. (If you prefer, instead of my crostini presentation, you can eliminate the bread put chopped eggs on top of the asparagus and eat it as salad. Your choice, I like fancier presentations :))

Bon appetit! Enjoy this refreshing and tasty dish!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Celery Root Salad... (Yogurtlu Kereviz Salatasi)

I am Turkish, and I like the tastes and flavors of Turkish cuisine... This celery root recipe is not a traditional Turkish recipe but a recipe that has been prepared in my family's home in Turkey for years. It is usually served next to other savory dishes (pastries, salads) with Turkish tea when you have guests in between meal times...

I usually prepare this dish as meze (small platters - mediterrenean, middle eastern version of tapas) or as a starter next to stuffed philo triangles... It is a really easy, very tasty and surprisingly healthy dish... The recipe will be enough for 6 people as starter and more as meze...


- 2 medium size celery roots (when peeled will weigh 800 gr)
- 500 gr Mediterranean yoghurt (it is thicker and creamier than the standard yoghurt in North America)
- 3 medium size garlic cloves
- 3/4 cup chopped walnut
- juice of half a lemon
- salt


1- Pick a medium to big size mixing bowl for the recipe, and squeeze half lemon's juice to the bowl.

2- Peel the celery root until you remove all the brown (brownish) colored outer covering. You need a strong knife for this.

3- Grate the celery roots with a grater, and immediately mix the grated celery root with the lemon juice in the bowl (because peeled celery roots can get dark very quickly).

4- In another mixing bowl, mix the yoghurt, 3 garlic cloves (minced or crushed into small pieces) and salt (to your taste - if you have no idea I recommend 1,5 teaspoon).

5- Chop 3/4 cup walnuts into small pieces (you can increase or decrease the walnut amount to your taste).

6- Mix celery root with walnuts and yoghurt mixture.

7- Put into your serving plate or bowl. I sprinkle some crushed red peppers and top with chopped walnuts.

8- Enjoy with crackers, pita, bread or by itself! Afiyet Olsun! (Turkish for Bon Appetit!)