Rhubarb & Citrus Mocktail

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The weather has been crazy lately. Friends were visiting from abroad and I had already told them how temperamental the weather can be here, so they came prepared. On Thursday and Friday, we had summer-like temperatures, and on Saturday and Sunday it was felt more like winter. Funny to see the pictures we took, because you would think they are from two different visits by the change of clothing. It was so nice to show them around Amsterdam and this trip ended up being extra special for them since they got engaged.

Going back to this recipe, this is a very refreshing drink. And of course you can add some liquor if you want, but it doesn’t need it. You’ll have enough rhubarb simple syrup to make about 3 batches.

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This recipe makes about 1.5 liters.

Ingredients:

For the rhubarb simple syrup:

3 large rhubarb stalks, roughly chopped

1 cup of sugar

1 ½ cups of boiling water

For the mocktail:

Juice of 4 oranges

Juice of 3 ruby red grapefruit

¼ cup of the rhubarb simple syrup, cold

Bunch of mint

750ml of sparkling water, cold

15 ice cubes

Edible flowers (optional)

 

Start by making the rhubarb simple syrup. Place the rhubarb, boiling water and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Let it cook for about 25 minutes until the rhubarb is very soft and the liquid is syrupy. Then strain the syrup using a fine mesh sieve. Allow it to cool down.

Once the rhubarb simple syrup has cooled down, start juicing the citrus. Pour the grapefruit and orange juice into a pitcher. Add ¼ cup of the simple syrup, mint, sparkling water and ice. Stir. Top each glass with some edible flowers if you want.

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Celeriac, Beet & Potato Salad with Horseradish Vinaigrette

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Today I felt like having a salad for dinner. I made this one with thinly sliced beets which I just pan-roasted, roasted baby potatoes, celeriac ribbons and arugula. A semi-warm salad perfect for the beginning of spring since it is still quite cold here.

This recipe serves 3.

Ingredients:

For the salad:

5 small beets (I used 3 yellow, 1 candy cane and 1 purple)

500grs of baby potatoes, washed and sliced in half

1/2 celeriac

100grs of arugula

Olive oil

Salt

For the horseradish vinaigrette:

1/3 of a cup of olive oil

1/3 of a cup of apple cider vinegar

1 ½ tablespoons of honey

1 tablespoon of horseradish

1 teaspoon of mustard

Salt

Pepper

 

To make the vinaigrette, just place all of the ingredients in a jar with a lid, cover it and then shake it to emulsify it.

Add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a large pan over medium heat. Once it is hot, add the baby potatoes and a pinch of salt. Cook while tossing from time to time until the potatoes are golden outside and fully cooked on the inside. The time will depend on the size of the potatoes. Set them aside.

Peel the beets and using a mandoline, finely slice them. Set them aside. I kept and cooked the different color of beets separate so that the purple beets wouldn’t stain the others but you don’t have to.

Add about 1 ½ tablespoons of olive oil to the same pan where you cooked the potatoes, add the yellow beets and cook while stirring for about 5 minutes until they cooked but still have a crunch. If you sliced them paper thin they will take less time. Add some salt.

Do the same for the candy cane beet and for the purple beet. Set them aside

Once the beets are cooked, start prepping the celeriac. You only need half of it, the other half you can reserve for another recipe. Peel it and slice it into about 1 cm pieces. Then using a potato peeler just shave it to create ribbons.

Place the celeriac ribbons, potatoes, beets and arugula in a large bowl. Add the vinaigrette and toss to coat. Serve among 3 plates and eat straight away.

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Panzanella with Tomato & Kalamata Ciabatta

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Panzanella has been on my to-make list for a long time. I finally made it yesterday along with the bread that goes in it.  I used a tomato & kalamata ciabatta recipe that I found on Food&Wine. I slightly adapted it to fit what I had in my kitchen. The best part of making bread is the smell that fills out the house. Luckily, I made the full recipe for the ciabatta which makes 2 loaves and I only needed half a loaf for the salad. Why? Because half a loaf disappeared into my belly as soon as it came out of the oven and another big chunk of it disappeared into my husband’s belly as soon as he came back from work. I toasted the bread in a pan with olive oil so it would still remain a bit crunchy as I ate it. I added some edible flowers for an extra pop of color.

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The recipe for the ciabatta makes 2 loaves and the recipe for the salad serves 2.

Ingredients:

For the ciabatta:

5 tablespoons of olive oil

2 red onions, chopped

4 tablespoons of tomato puree

7 cherry tomatoes, seeds removed and quartered

80gr of pitted Kalamata olives, quartered

Salt

Pepper

3 packets of dry yeast (7grs each)

1 teaspoon of sugar

1 ¾ cups of warm water

2 ½ cups pf all-purpose flower

¾ cup semolina

For the salad:

½ a loaf of the tomato and kalamata ciabatta

7 tablespoons of olive oil

100gr of feta, chopped or crumbled

½ cucumber, thinly sliced

150grs of heirloom tomatoes, quartered or chopped depending on their sizes

1 bunch of asparagus

½ red onion, thinly sliced

Edible flowers (optional)

Salt

Pepper

For the dressing:

¼ cup of olive oil

¼ cup of apple cider vinegar

Juice of 1 lime

1 teaspoon of mustard

1 tablespoon of honey

Salt

Pepper

 

To make the ciabatta:

In a large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the onions and cook over medium heat until they caramelized a bit. This will take about 8 minutes. Then add the tomato puree and cook for 4 minutes. Add the olives and tomatoes. Mix well. Finally add some salt and pepper. Let it cool down.

In the bowl of the stand mixer, add the yeast, sugar and water. Let it stand for 10 minutes until it becomes foamy. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of salt, flour and semolina.

Mix on low speed with the dough hook attachment for about 6 minutes until the dough starts to pull from the edges.  Then add the cooled kalamata and tomato mixture. Mix first with a spatula and then for 1 extra minute on low speed just until it’s mixed in. Cover it with plastic wrap and let it stand in a warm place for 1 ½ hours until it doubles in volume.

Preheat the oven to 230C/450F. Scrape the dough out onto a well-floured work surface. It will be very soft and sticky. Divide the dough into 2 even pieces and shape each piece into a loaf of about 20cm long. Place the loaves on a parchment paper lined baking tray and bake for 25 minutes until they are lightly browned. Transfer them to a rack and allow them to cool down. You should have a piece while it is still warm, I had half a loaf.

To make the dressing:

Just place all of the ingredients in a jar, cover it with a lid and shake it until it emulsifies. Set aside.

To make the salad:

Chop half of a ciabatta loaf into cubes. Pour 5 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the ciabatta and cook until it becomes crispy. Stir from time to time. This will take about 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer it to a plate and set aside.

Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a pan over medium heat. Sauté the asparagus until crisp-tender. The time will depend on their thickness. Since I got very young ones, I didn’t have to trim them. Add salt and pepper. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the onion, tomatoes, cucumber, feta and asparagus. Add the ciabatta and dressing. Mix well. Serve immediately. You can decorate it with some edible flowers.