Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Dog Days of October

For well over a week I had been planning on for my next blog entry to be a toast to the changing seasons; out with the summer bounty and in with the fall harvest. But as the temperature here in St. Louis approaches the triple-digits in the first few days of October, I now think it better to combine the summeresque weather with the autumnal date through the help of a recipe that focuses on cooking in both seasons. (After all, how often do you get to enjoy the changing colors of the leaves while sweating your butt off?) Why not light up that grill one more time before storing it away for the long, extremely cold winter (or at least that's what the farmer's almanac says it'll be). This recipe for Celery Heart Salsa Verde is perfect with grilled beef, pork or salmon and utilizes one of my favorite vegetables, one in it's prime during the fall and winter, the versatile celery root. Celery Root (aka. "celeriac") has a pungent celery-like flavor and is, in fact, a special variety of celery, developed by gardeners during the Renaissance. It is delicious prepared any number of ways, but I especially like it in its raw state; in the spirit of the traditional French remoulade (a creamy, tart relish made from celery root). So pull-out the deck furniture, throw-on your favorite short-sleeved BBQ shirt and savor the summer one last time. Just don't try serving a sliced tomato salad.

Celery Heart Salsa Verde (Makes 3 Cups)

Celery, Pale Inner Stalks,
Plus all Leaves, Small Dice 2 Cups
Celery Root, Peeled/Diced ½ Cup
Pappadew Peppers, Diced ½ Cup
Pappadew Pepper Brine 1/3 Cup
Capers, Soaked in Cold Water 4oz.
Anchovy, Soaked/Minced 2 Fillets
Shallots, Sliced Thin 2 Small
Garlic, Hand Minced 3 Cloves
Chives, Minced 2 Tablespoons
Italian Parsley, Minced 2 Tablespoons
Extra Virgin Olive Oil ½ Cup
Salt & Fresh Pepper To Taste

Preparation Procedure-

Combine, mix thoroughly. Keeps 10 days. Goes great with any grilled or roasted meat.