Celery Salt

So, I love my eggs.  This has been said many, many times before.  No surprise then that when a neighbour suggested the following recipe to me as I bought a big, leafy bunch of celery from the monthly local market, hard boiled eggs immediately came to mind.  A lovely condiment to have around.

Celery Salt

(adjust quantities depending on how big a pile of celery leaves you have)

3 cups of celery leave

1/2 cup sea salt flakes (Maldon is perfect)

  • Chop the celery leaves roughly and scatter across a baking tray.  Bake at 75 oC for 2-3 hours until dried out and crispy.
  • Add celery leaves to a blender removing any bits of stalk.  The leaves will have shrivelled to approx. one cup.   Add half that amount of sea salt and whizz in a blender until combined and fine.  At this point you could mix in a couple of teaspoons of ground pepper for a more complete seasoning.
  • Store in an airtight container.

Smoked Cheddar and Leek Mash

Comfort food of the highest order.  Just what one needs on a Sunday evening after a fabulous but frantic Saturday night.

Smoked Cheddar and Leek Mash

(for 2)

2 large floury potatoes, peeled and chopped into golf ball sized pieces

Salt and pepper

1 large leek, trimmed and chopped

30ml hot milk

Handful grated smoked cheddar

1 small egg, beaten 

  • Boil potatoes in salted water. 
  • Meanwhile, sauté chopped leeks in a little olive oil until silky and soft. 
  • Once potatoes are soft, drain and mash with a little hot milk.  Stir in the leek and some grated smoked cheddar.  Season.
  • Add to a shallow baking dish, brush with egg and grill until crispy on top.

Blog Suggestions…

I’m feeling the need to refresh a few areas of my life.  Nothing drastic, you understand.  New walks with Marco, new exercise routine, different reading materials, wardrobe explorations… that kind of thing.  Cleaned out my feed reader this morning, deleting blogs that are no longer updated or that I don’t read any more, and now my blog list is looking a little thin.

So, I’d like to ask you guys for suggestions for blogs for me to subscribe to.  Food, photography, funny, lifestyle, thought-provoking… anything blog you love, I’d like to know about.  :)

Fennel, Onion and Pine Nut Spaghetti

Earlier this year a monthly market started up in the North Kessock village hall.   It’s comprised of only eight, maybe ten stalls at the moment but the selection of local veg, eggs, meat, baked goods and preserves is really very exciting indeed.

Along with the duck legs, cinnamon raisin bread, parsnips and cabbage that I picked up on my last visit, I also bought a couple of enormous fennel bulbs.  Slightly confused as to how fennel can be grown locally at this time of year and wishing I’d asked the stall holder about it now but well, well - they were delicious.  Made them the star of the show in two meals that week.  This was the first:

Fennel, Onion and Pine Nut Spaghetti

(serves 2)

2 heaped tablespoons breadcrumbs (I used rye in the photo above but any type will do)

1 chubby garlic clove, chopped finely

Pinch of chilli flakes

1 tblpsn chopped parsley leaves

Finely grated rind of 1/2 lemon

Olive oil

1 medium onion, sliced

1 fennel bulb, fronds removed and reserved – bulb halved and sliced

50g pine nuts

30g raisins

Juice of half a lemon

150g spaghetti

  • Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a frying pan.  Add the breadcrumbs, garlic and chilli flakes and fry until breadcrumbs crisp up.  Remove from pan and mix with the lemon rind, parsley and any fronds from the fennel.
  • Add a little more oil to the frying pan along with the onion, fennel slices, pine nuts and raisins.  Cook over a medium heat for 15-20 minutes until vegetables are soft and beginning to turn golden brown.
  • Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in salted water.
  • Drain spaghetti and stir into the fennel mixture along with the lemon juice.
  • Serve topped with the breadcrumb mixture.