It has been a long while between posts. I was in Amsterdam for work for over 5 weeks, came back to Sydney for a short interlude and then went off to the snow for a week before getting a horrible cold and going into hibernation. Probably something to do with going straight from the height of summer to the depths of winter in the space of a week.
I had grand intentions of continuing to publish recipes and photos while I was away, but alas that was not to be. Once out of my rhythm, and with much catching up to do, I spent my evenings after work making the most of the long sunlight hours out on a terrace. It was indeed a proper summer. Don’t be fooled, it doesn’t usually look like this.
As always, it was great being back in Amsterdam and I miss it and its people a lot. It is comforting, but confronting in some ways, especially in contrast to the previous couple of months in Sydney; living in my former home city, jumping on the bike along familiar paths to my previous work place, doing my old job and seeing my Amsterdam friends in real life, instead of on facebook.
Each time I visit Amsterdam it seems that there are new cafes and bars popping up all over the city, especially in the north and east. I hadn’t been to Amsterdam’s Noord for a few years, and its certainly different, with the short commuter ferry across the water being packed on a sunny day. There are lots of great (new to me) bars along the waterfront, with gin served in fish bowl sized glasses with designer tonic water all throughout the city. Dangerous on a summer’s day…
The recipe this week is more of a summer recipe, in honour of my time in Amsterdam. It contains celeriac, which was a vegetable I’d never eaten (nor heard of) before I first moved to Amsterdam, and as a result it was awhile before I found out its English name (knolselderij in Dutch). My first meeting with celeriac was in the hallowed aisles of the Albert Heijn supermarket, where it is usually found as a “knolselderijsalade” in the prepackaged deli section – mainly as a vessel for mayonnaise. However, I do love a well-made celeriac salad, and have teamed it up with some fresh apple for sweetness, rocket for bite and haloumi with a tangy dressing to replace the mayonnaise. This salad can be served for lunch with some bread, or as a side salad and will feed 3-4 adults.
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 1 celeriac, root and top cut off and peeled (about 200g)
- 1 apple (I used Granny Smith)
- 50g rocket (rucola)
- 120 g haloumi
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Extra virgin olive oil, for cooking
- A handful of toasted walnuts (for serving)
- Start by squeezing the lemon juice into a salad bowl. Cut the celeriac and apple into matchstick sized pieces, using either a mandolin or julienne peeler (or ninja knife skills). Add to the salad bowl and stir through lemon juice, to prevent browning.
- Prepare the dressing by whisking together the mustard, vinegar and olive oil until well combined. Add salt and pepper to taste, and then stir the dressing through the celeriac and apple. Add rocket.
- Just before you are ready to serve, heat a frying pan with a little bit of olive oil over medium heat. Slice the haloumi into 0.5cm pieces and add to the pan, once hot. Fry for a couple of minutes on either side, until browned and melted. Cut into thin sticks. Add the haloumi to the salad with the toasted walnuts and serve immediately.