I grew up with family meals every night. I remember my parents preparing meals, and us girls always being involved somehow. Chopping, setting the table, filling glasses. It was a time to chat about our days and reconnect. Sure we argued and fought some times, but most of my memories are of laughing and hanging out around the table or trying to sneak food into my napkin without my parents noticing! Now that I have my own little family, I've made a point of continuing this tradition. Even though our daughter is three, she has her little jobs setting the table and helping take things out of the fridge. We usually have music playing and chat, dance or make ALOT of noise. The trouble is, I don't plan our meals until I'm on my way to pick Elodie up from daycare. By the time we get home and get cooking, everyone is tired and hungry. So, I asked the sweet Giulio from One Big Table
to help me out with a few recipes that are easy to make, healthy and focus on ingredients that can be found locally. (Side note: Giulio and I met when we both worked at the Rotten Grape Restaurant many years ago. We've spent many hours in the kitchen together, usually me bossing him around, even though he was technically in charge!)
First up, Yam and Celeriac Soup with a Corn Mache and warm Yam salad.
In Giulio's Words:
Yam and Celeriac Salad
Sensual and slightly liquorice in flavor, Celeriac is one of the first vegetables to appear in the fall Harvest and one of the last ones to leave and it is celebrated in this beautiful soup that highlights the natural characteristics of this wonderful vegetables, with spices and love.
1 Celeriac 2 small jewel Yam 1/2 white Onion 1/2 small red onion 1 tbsp. cumin seeds 1 tsp. coriander, ground 1 small hand full cilantro stems salt to taste 3-4 tbsp. extra virgin Olive Oil (we used Tenuta Arcamone)
garnish cilantro leaves plain yogurt whole cumin seeds
Saute both onions in olive oil first. low heat, we are not trying to develop any color at this point.
Lightly toast spices, crush and add to onions, along with cilantro stems after 6-7 minutes.
Meanwhile clean the celeriac and yams, cut into large chunks, and add them to the pot and dry roast for 7-8 mins
Cover with cold water, add a generous pinch of salt and simmer until all ingredients are soft (20 minutes or so).
Once ready, allow to cool slightly, puree and adjust the seasoning.
Garnish with cilantro leaves, a spoonful of yogurt and whole cumin seeds.
Corn (Mache') Salad with Carmelis Feta & Roasted Yams (for 2 people)
3 handful of local mache (in season right now, and just beautiful)
1 small yam
1 small handful of dried cherries
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil (Tenuta Arcamone)
1 handful Carmelis feta, crumbled
pinch of while cumin seeds
Add a splash of olive oil to a pan at medium heat.
Cut the Yams in 1 inch cubes and roast in pan with a pinch of salt and a pinch of cumin.
Cook slowly on medium-low heat till they are soft (8-10 mintues depending on size) - allow to cool.
Mache should be clean and well dried. Be sure to handle with care - it's quite delicate.
Add dried cherries in a bowl, with the greens and crumbled feta.
Dress with olive oil, balsamic and a healthy pinch of salt. Add Yams, toss gently and serve!