preserved lemons

Preserving lemons is a fool proof way to make sure you have lemons at home all year round. On top of that, preserved lemons will add an extra flavour dimension to your food 🍋💥

This is the recipe for Otthelenghi style preserved lemons. It’s very important to use organic lemons for this recipe. Chemical treament is often applied to non organic lemons to make lemon peels more shiny.  As we use the whole lemons in this recipe, it’s extra important to use organic lemons. Your ferment can only be as good as the ingredients its contains.

You need:

  • a 800 ml clean jar
  • about 10 organic lemons.
  • non-jodised salt. About 5 tbsp per lemon
  • 1 red chili, 1 spring rosemary, other spices like 10 peppercorns, 2 springs of thyme or cinnamon, star anise….

Cut 5 lemons cross-wise starting from the top till a depth of about 2/3 of the lenght of each of the lemons. 5 lemons is an estimation. Use as much lemons as you can pack in 1 jar.
Stuff each of the lemons with about 1 tbsp of salt. Fit the stuffed lemons in the jar. Close tightly and leave in a cool dry spot out of direct sunlight.

1 week later…
Open the jar. Add your spices. Add enough lemon juice to cover all the lemons. Let ferment for another 3 weeks. Keep in the fridge once opened. The acid and salt makes that the lemons will keep for a very long time.

What can you do with fermented lemons?
Don’t expect to be able to eat an entire lemon at once. They’re like tangy flavour bombs. In small quantities, preserved lemons add an extra dimension to your dishes!  They’re a delicous topping on hummus with roasted chickpeas, olive oil and herbs. You can use them in vinaigrettes, marinades, Moroccan stews, couscous and pasta dishes.

Kumqwhat?

Kumquat is a tiny citrus, native to China, of which different varieties exist. Kumquat is Cantonese for golden orange 🍊
It’s a fruit that many people look at with suspicion, asking themselves what there will be left after peeling this little orange. Fortunately, kumquats are the only citrus that you can eat with the skin on. And then, there is the bitter sweet and sour flavour that makes people wonder how to eat or cook it. It’s perfectly edible raw. But if that’s too crazy for you, kumquats are ideal to make syrups, jams, lemonades, salad dressings, sauces and cakes.

I made a kumquat jam with cinnamon and sweetened with dates, only dates. Quick, easy & so good! 😋

96142137_699063310897507_8385728314622345216_n

#stayhome picnic

Staying home can be difficult when the sun shines bright and temperatures rise. I’ve been missing having a garden these days. I like eating outside. It comes with a feeling of relaxation and connection with nature and turns lunch or dinner into a different experience.
To work , relax, sleep, learn… all in the same (small) house makes the line between ON/OFF work more difficult. Changing places and creating different atmosferes at home keeps life interesting and alternating. We’ve been doing weekend picnics on the first floor of our house, where the evening sun reaches through the windows.
How to make your own #stayhome picnic? Choose a sunny spot in your house. Move your furniture away to create space. Put down a blanket. Surround yourself with plants. Make different bowls with little dishes to share. Dips, bread, salads, pickles, roasted vegetables, fruits, nuts … Everybody can serve themlselves. Serve with a nice (home) fermented drink and anjoy the experience.

Suggestions for your #stayhome picnic: herb fritata, hummus with roasted carrots, stewed lenitls, baba ganoush.

 

Spring in a bowl, at home

White asparagus, leek & dill soup with sourdough croutons 🍞
An easy to make, vegetable packed bowl 🥣 that taste like spring 🐣
This recipe is great to use second choice asparagus, dill stems 🌿 that you otherwise would throw away & leftover sourdough bread! 🍞 #nofoodwaste #seasonal #local
On the table of your home tonight? Stay home and make the recipe 🏠
#blijfinuwkot #stahome #stayinyourkot

For 4 servings, you need:
– one bunch of white asparagus
– 🖐-full of dill stems + tops to garnish 🌿
– 2 small spring potatoas🥔
– 1/4 leek
– 4 slices leftover sourdough bread 🍞
– olive oil
– salt & pepper
– sumac93595385_596323834572733_3052790783229820928_n
To make the SOUP:
– Peel the asparagus and chop leek, dill stems, asparagus & potatoes.
– Heat olive in a pot on the stove. Add the leek & potato cubes to the hot oil. Turn down the 🔥, add salt and stirr regularly.
– When the asparagus softened, add about a liter of (hot) water and the asparagus.
– Boil until the vegetables are tender.
– Take the pot from the fire.
– Add pepper and sumac.
– Blend the soup & add extra salt, pepper or sumac to taste.

To make CROUTONS 🍞:
– Cut the bread in cubes.
– Add to a pan with hot oil and bake till crunchy. Flip over the croutons regularly to avoid burning.

SERVE:
Take a pretty bowl🥣, add soup. Top with lots of fresh dill🌿, croutons🍞, more olive oil and sumac. Enjoy! 😋

SEASONING: Celeriac

At the end of winter and before spring breaks through, vegetable season is at its lowest point. But, some vegetables are also there in difficult times and one of those heroes is celeriac!

What is it? Celeriac or celery root is a variety of celery that has an edible stem and shoots. It belongs to the same botanical family as carrots and parsley. Celeriac originates from the Mediterranean region, but is cultivated all over the world.

What does it taste like? Celeriac is  -in contradiction with what the name suggests- not yac, but a very yummy vegetable 😋 The fresher the root, the more intense the flavour. The root has a crunchy texture and tastes like the mild nutty version of common celery stalks. Celeriac stems are edible too! #nofoodwaste. The stems taste like common celery stalks and are perfect to garnish dishes.

89452287_543285492970316_5938166691904094208_n

Healthy? 💪 Celeriac is low in calories and has a good amount of fibres. It contains vitamin K, an important component in blood coagulation* and bone metabolism. Furthermore, celeriac contains minerals like amongst others phosphorus, that supports the skeleton and is a necessary component of our energy metabolism. Cooking affects celeriac’s nutritional composition. Nutritional values are the highest for the raw vegetable.

Preservation. Celeriac can be kept up to 6 months in a cold (0-5 °C) , humid and dark environment. You can do this by storing celeriac in a bucket covered with wet soil. Keep the bucket in your basement. In the fridge? Yes. Keep celeriac up to a couple of weeks in a bag in the vegetable compartment of your fridge. The bag will prevent the vegetables from drying out. Celeriac easily turns brown after cutting 🔪 Adding lemon or vinegar to freshly cut celeriac prevents browning 🍋 Celeriac can be frozen after blanching and stored in the freezer for up to 1 month ❄️ Want to prolong celeriac’s shelf life but you’ve a full freezer? Pickling or fermenting are tasty alternatives 🏺

What to do with it? 👩🏻‍🍳 Celeriac is a versatile vegetable that can be eaten either raw or cooked. Cook with celeriac like with potatoes or carrots. Oven roasted or on the BBQ, stewed, blanched, steamed, mashed or in soup. 

Recipe inspiration 💡
Whole roasted celeriac  brings out the sweetness of the vegetable and transforms the texture from crunchy to creamy. It’s not much fuss to prepare and makes a great meal for many, combined with side-dishes & sauces. The creamy texture of roasted celeriac is an upgrade for your daily sandwich 🆙 🥪 (photo).
– Make celeriac steaks in your next winter BBQ 🔥
– Already thought about vegan schnitsel made from celeriac?
Rösti from celeriac with a green salsa from the leaves 💃 #nofoodwaste
Fermented celeriac with apple & mustard seeds🦠
– The winter salad from Content’s kitchen at Hal5 is a delicious waldorf celeriac remoulade 🥗

This is a blog post of the serie SEASONS. Bringing out the best of the season in cooperation with Content Leuven.

*People with blood thinning medication or oral anticonceptives should be careful with an excess amount of vitam K containing vegetables, as vitamin K affects coagulation factors in the blood.

Food connects us with nature & supports our physical & mental well-being

These days are a good opportunity to re-connect with your inner being 🧘‍♀️& the people close to you 👫. To be nice to yourself & solidar with others 🌍🌎🌏 We can help each other in the best way when being happy and healthy ourselves 🙂 The benefits that a diverse diet with many vegetables 🥕🥦, fruits 🍎🍊, plant fats 🥜, whole grain products 🌾 & fermented foods has on our physical 💪& mental 🧠 health should not be underestimated!

Photo: Winter pizza 🧦🍕 from leftover Moroccan flat bread, home made cashew cheese, garlicky mushrooms 🍄, parsley 🌿 & fermented jerusalem artichoke.
#nofoodwaste #pizza #fermentation #seasonal #winter #comfortfood #vegan #plantbased

90086466_204986654096302_3929071654704843643_n(1)

SEASONING: Jerusalem artichoke

SEASONING are a series of weekly blog posts in collaboration with Content, the package free store of Leuven. I these series, I will try to bring out the best of the season by telling the story of unknown and underrated seasonal ingredients and give you inspiration on how to use them from stems to roots.

The first vegetable I want to introduce to you is the heavily underrated Jerusalem artichoke.

aardpeer
Jerusalem artichoke #foodart by me.
  • Whatis it? Jerusalem artichoke (also called sunchoke) is no artichoke (Say whuut?!), but a variety of sunflower that is native to North America. So, why is it called artichoke? It was probably a wrong translation from the Italian word for sunflower; girasole.
  • What does it taste like? Jerusalem artichokes are potato-like, but more crispy, nutty and sweet. In other words; better than potatoes 😋
  • Healthy? Yes! Jerusalem artichokes contain the soluble fiber inuline. Humans cannot digest inuline. Consequently, it is broken down by our gut bacteria. This stimulates the growth of amongst others Bifidobateria, a group of bacteria that contributes to a healthy gut environment. Thus, it can be said inuline is a prebiotic, making that makes beneficial bacteria thrive in our gut. Because of the slow digestion of inuline, eating Jerusalem artichokes does not cause peeks in blood glucose levels and therefore, this root vegetable is suitable for diabetic patients. Moreover, Jerusalem artichokes contain a good amount of iron 💪
  • Preservation. Jerusalem artichokes like a cold, dark but humid environment. After harvest, they can keep on developing a sweeter flavour. In a cold, dark place covered with wet sand, they can be kept for 2-5 months. More practical? 👉 Keep them in closed container in the vegetable compartment of your fridge. When blanched, they can be kept in the freezer for up to 6 months ❄️ Jerusalem artichokes can be preserved for months when pickled 🏺
  • What to do with them? 👩🏻‍🍳: There is no need to peel Jerusalem artichokes . Just rinse well before use. They can be eaten like any root vegetable. Boiled, steamed roasted, blended in soup and even raw Jerusalem artichoke adds crunch to salads.
  • Recipe inspiration 💡
    Transform Jerusalem artichoke scepticals in lovers 💛 with these recipes:

roasted roots
winter salad with root vegetables & halloumi
jerusalem artichoke hummus
Jerusalem artichoke hummus bowl