Raw Celeriac Salad with Walnuts and Dill

I know I have a similar recipe which I shared long time ago but this one is slightly different and the photo is better too. You don’t mind me sharing it again, do you?

DPP_00015 (1280x960)Back in Bodrum (Turkey), this was the first thing I used to make on the day of the local market, right after bringing the fresh produce home. This salad stores well in the fridge and you always have something to add to whatever you cook during the week. It is also a good sandwich filler.

DPP_00025 (1280x960)I strongly recommend you prepare everything before you attack the celeriac here as it turns brown so fast. I sometimes even put the lemon juice in the food processor first and then grate the whole thing straight on top of it. You either plan well or work fast. That is the only rule here.

½ head celeriac, peeled and grated
3 tbsp vegan mayonnaise
2 sprigs fresh dill, chopped finely
2 walnuts, shelled and chopped finely
Freshly squeezed juice of ½ lemon
Drizzle extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp chilli flakes
Black pepper

• Grate the celeriac either in a food processor or by using a hand grater.
• Mix grated raw celeriac and lemon juice in a salad bowl.
• Add rest of the ingredients and mix well.
• Garnish with extra chilli and serve.

Chickpea (garbanzo bean) and Smoked Almond Salad with Vinaigrette

I have been using smoked almonds extensively in salads since we discovered them at Scoop. Here’s a salad featuring these interesting ingredients.

Chickpea and Smoked Almond Salad with Vinaigrette
Bowl in this photo is hand-made in 2011 by ceramic artist Turgut Tuna.  It is hand made and it came all the way from Turkey. Thank you Zeynep and Canbora 🙂 It is from Iznik -famous for its ceramics and tiles.

1x tin chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed well and drained
1 small carrot, grated
2 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
½ red onion, chopped
½ green pepper (capsicum), chopped
½ cup smoked almonds
3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

To make vinaigrette: Combine vinegar and oil, whisking until well blended. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To make salad: Combine chickpeas, carrot, smoked almonds, pepper, onion and mint in a large bowl. Add vinaigrette and mix well to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Fettuccine with Pine Mushrooms

Fettuccine with Pine Mushrooms

Now that I posted information about pine mushrooms, I can show you how you utilise this fantastic varietal. This is such a fast and easy recipe and sautéing pine mushrooms brings out the nutty flavour in them. The recipe below serves 2.

200 grams fettuccine
6 pieces pine mushrooms, stem removed and cut into small pieces
1 thick spring onion, chopped
2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 tbsp vegetable oil
Salt and pepper

• Cook the pasta according to packet instructions.
• Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large pan –I use my wok as it makes it easier to combine –and sauté the mushrooms.
• Separate the green parts of the spring onions and set aside.
• Halfway through the sautéing process add the white parts of spring onion and cook until they are slightly limp.
• Drain pasta and add to the mushrooms. Add salt and pepper and combine well.
• Sprinkle with parsley and spring onions just before you remove it from the heat. Serve warm and enjoy!

Ingredient Profile: Pine Mushroom

Pine Mushroom
The first time I came across pine mushrooms was during the time we lived in Melbourne. We did most of our grocery shopping at Prahran market where there is a stall just for mushrooms. Damien Pike Wild Mushroom Specialist is the name and Damien is a mushroom expert. He was kind enough to take his time to explain what they were and in the end, we were convinced to try.

Pine mushroom Lactarius deliciosus –also known as saffron milk cap, orange fly caps or red pine mushroom –is found in Europe and later introduced to other countries like Australia, New Zealand and Chile. They commonly grow under pine trees. They exude a milky orange sap when cut and have vibrant saffron-coloured cap, gills and stem. The texture is firm and they have a full, nutty flavour. In some cases, the colour gets even more vibrant as they cook.

When I lived in Aegean part of Turkey, especially in Bodrum area (photo below), I heard about this wild mushroom called çıntar –the Turkish name for pine mushrooms. The locals have a long tradition of going out and hunting these mushrooms –and some other herbs –when they are in season. They know exactly what to pick as no mushroom poisoning has ever been reported in the area.

pine mushroom

Bodrum Castle

In pine fields of Oberon in NSW, migrants from Poland, Italy and Ukraine or other Eastern European ancestry, pick these mushrooms after autumn rainfall. We get ours from Harris Farm but during only certain months as their season is quite short.

A few tips on cooking and preparing:
• If you get large and older pine mushrooms, use them in casseroles or stews as they take longer to cook and slow cooking is the best method for these. If you can get smaller, younger ones, they go nicely with pasta.
• They need to be washed well and stems should be discarded.
• Pine mushrooms are best when sautéed or grilled.