Sunday, April 24, 2016

Lemon Fennel Celery Salad a la Jamie Oliver

“Dearly beloved, we are gathered here to get through this thing called life.” – Prince

It was the first time I that I heard this quote after Prince’s untimely this week, but I have been thinking about it more than once since. What a weird thing life can be. We think we are in a ‘safe zone’, and then, a curveball out of nowhere come flying, and it rocks us out of our orbit. Or, we watch it happen to others. Then, we are shaken for a while, start to forget and go back to business as usual. 

These days are very busy at work, but instead of going nuts, I ask myself daily“so, what do I have to do today to stay on track, and what else do I do for fun?”, and each day is a mixed bundle of work (not too much) but also creative, ‘useless’ things, and I just live in the day, and don’t worry about the next. One of my latest creative adventures is linoleum stamping. Inspired by a hand-made tea towel by Tracy, I googled around on the internet, and realized it is not that complicated, and started stamping my own tea towels with store-bought stamps. So much fun! But since I could not find a stamp similar to hers, I ordered a block of linoleum and started carving the stamp I want myself. (I still yet have to stamp towels.)

linoleum_stamp
I remember linoleum stamping in high school, it was fun back then, too.

My creative juice also got flowing on another level: cooking. After I ditched my cable TY subscription last summer and now live on Hulu and Netflix, I found out that Jamie Oliver has a cooking show on Hulu, 15min meals. Jamie, with his usual enthusiastic, youthful style, inspired me to finally try out something new in the kitchen again.  I even bought a wide-mouthed food processor because he uses it for many of his recipes to finely slice veggies. In this particular recipe, he sliced a whole lemon. I had to try this one out!

The food processor arrived this week, the fennel and celery and mint were waiting in the fridge, and I had a few meyer lemons left over from the winter’s harvest.

fennel_lemon_salad-1-2

Meyer Lemon, Fennel, Celery and Mint salad
  • 1-2 fennel bulbs (greens cut off)
  • 1 celery heart
  • 1 Meyer lemon (organic)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 bunch of mint
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 1 TB red wine or white wine vinegar (optional)
Necessary: mandoline or wide-mouthed food processor with a slicing inset.
  1. Finely slice the fennel, celery, and Meyer lemon into a bowl.
  2. Chop the mint leaves (or add to the food processor)
  3. Remove the vegetables, and gently mix by hand. Add a pinch of salt, and the olive oil.
  4. Garnish with some mind and fennel prongs. Serve.

The salad has a great texture, the light scrunch of the fennel and celeries. The lemon is not bitter at all, and adds this fresh, summery note. The mint rounds it out. Nevertheless, the salad is missing something. Maybe, feta? Or parmesan? Or roasted garlic bread? Or an apple and toasted walnuts? Ideas?
Happy Sunday!

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