Monday, March 28, 2005

Celeriac and Parsnip Soup and Pizzagena

I had a celeriac (a.k.a. celery root) in my fridge for a couple of weeks and I didn't know what to do with it. I found a recipe for Celeriac and Parsnip soup which called for many things I happened to have in my fridge. So, I tried it.

  • 2 tsp butter

  • 1 tsp olive oil

  • 1 leek, white part cleaned and chopped

  • 1/2 onion, chopped

  • 1 1/2 ribs celery with leaves, chopped

  • 1/4 lb parsnip, peeled and chopped (I had two so I used both)

  • 1/2 lb celeriac (about 2 cups peeled and chopped)

  • 1 14oz can vegetable broth

  • 1 cup water

  • 1 bay leaf

  • couple sprigs of Italian parsley

  • couple sprigs of fresh lemon thyme (I didn't have any so I used a pinch of dried thyme)

  • salt and pepper

Saute the leek, onion, and celery in olive oil and butter until soft and golden. Add parsnip, celeriac, broth, herbs, salt and pepper, and broth. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until veggies are soft. Remove from heat. Remove bay leaf and parsley. Puree, season, and server with grated swiss cheese. (I only had cheddar.)

The soup was good, but a little bit sweet due to the parsnip. I liked the celeriac though and I'll probably try another recipe. I heard it makes a good gratin.

Now, for the Pizzagena. Pizzagena is an Italian meat and egg pie that is traditionally served on Easter. Matt's mom makes this every year and it is one of Matt's favorite dishes. I don't have a recipe, although I plan on obtaining it so I can carry on the tradition, but this is the gist of it:

Mix chopped hard boiled egg, chopped pepperoni, and chopped prosciutto with an egg and milk batter (like a quiche). I don't think there is any cheese in it. I can taste nutmeg though. Bake this in home-made sweet pie crust. There is a crust on top as well as on the bottom. Server at room temperature. It's slightly sweet, a bit salty and spicy. It's really really good. I gather that there is a different recipe for every Italian family. My mother-in-law makes it the same way her mother made it. I'm curious about other ways of making it, but her way will always be my favorite and it's yet another reason why I find it very hard to be 100% vegetarian.


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