Though it has been more than two weeks since my last post, I’m afraid to tell you that it’s not a real, sophisticated recipe that I’m sharing with you today.
It might look like I’m being careless of my dear readers, but rest assured, I actually haven’t totally neglected my responsabilities toward you : I used much of the time spent away from the blogosphere eating, thinking about eating, cooking, thinking about cooking, and all that sort of blogging research, you see 😉 … So that I’m in order to make a strong comeback (seriously, I promise that, disorganised as I might be sometimes, I’ll try to have a tighter blogging schedule from now) !
Hence today’s article, which is about a really good stuff. The idea is not mine in any way, but it’s for sure a good find I made, the kind that’s worth being passed on. It is somehow better than a recipe, as it would allow you to make a (may I say endless without exaggerating ?) number of recipes.
Anyway, perhaps is this something you’re already familiar with (I myself had probably got a glimpse of it before, when surfing the Web, yet with no sufficient reason to keep it in mind), that is : a seasoned salt.
It’s sort of an old-fashioned trick to avoid food wastage, which has been very helpful to me some time ago. The thing is, I had then purchased a nice bunch of Chinese celery (which happens to be much leafier than its Western counterpart) and I couldn’t decide myself to throw half bunch away after having prepared the stalks.
My first thought was to make a cream soup, such as here, what I actually did (in case you wonder, it’s all about simmering celery leaves, say, 2 handfuls, with 1-2 carrot(s), roughly sliced and a big potato, cubed, with stock enough to cover, salt and pepper, for 30mns or until they’re tender enough to be processed ; some onion or shallot and garlic might be gently fried with oil at the beginning, for added flavour).
But I felt like making something else, less « country-style », and that’s how I got to know about this homemade celery salt.
Guess that, like me, you frequently make use of celery : be it for risotti, stocks, stews or stir-fries, it is a cook-friendly vegetable. Therefore, this is quite a versatile seasoning, but the method should work with all other kinds of aromatics (yes, by the way, I sometimes use celery leaves as a substitute for parsley) and (edible) greens you might think of. Sage salt is one that sounds good to me (to be honest, I’m in a sage-obsessed period), but I’d be glad to hear about your ideas too, if any.
All you need to know to make this seasoned salt (including use suggestions) is to be found on the great blog « Chocolate & Zucchini », here to be precise.
As shown in the pictures below, I followed the very same method, except that I decided to go for fleur de sel instead of sea salt : it makes for a less « salty » salt, which may then be used in larger amounts, thus giving a more pregnant celery taste to the dishes. I also choose to blend the two ingredients with the help of a coffee and spice grinder (but a multi chopper should work) to get a finer (and most importantly, quicker :)) result, and because I found that using a mortar, they weren’t mingled enough (or perhaps am I just not skilled / patient enough for that !)
Voilà, it’s done !
Then, here are some ideas that having made this salt inspired me. It could be used, for instance, to…
…sprinkle a tomato juice (or for the less faint-hearted among you, its boozy version : bloody mary ;)) – inevitable !
…give a simple broth or stock a subtle celery flavour,
…make an interesting dressing for a grated carrot salad (with sunflower oil, cider vinegar and white pepper),
…season an everyday pasta dish (such as these spaghetti with canned tuna in olive oil, pan-seared cherry tomatoes and capers – well, the celery’s taste wasn’t much noticeable but it was good anyway, so why should I conceal it ?).
And why not use it (only if you’ve saved up enough) to make salt-crusted fish, too ? I haven’t had the opportunity to give it a try yet, but I leave it up to you !
See you soon around here, dear « ogre » friends !