The Delightful Dutch Dish

How one can cook oneself back into local reality

I’ve been neglecting this May 25, 2010

Filed under: cooking,vegetable — orangepumpkin @ 19:00

I don’t really know why. Because I have broken many rules, probably. I’ve been devouring truck loads of fish. Salmon, tuna, crab, herring, and I intend to eat every single fish they sell at my latest discovery: the fish shop. They sell great stuff. They smoke their own salmon. And that salmon does me in every single time I smell it. They place it on the counter top so that you simply have to smell it. And trust me, you cannot smell that salmon without eating it. The thing with fish shops is that you have to buy something before you can eat it. So anyway, fish. I’ve decided that I can’t live without it. The only downside to the whole fishy ordeal is, that fish, my dear scalloped sea creatures of heaven, they just aren’t local. They aren’t eco-friendly. They aren’t organic. They’re dooming our planet. And so am I, with every single bit of fish that enters my system. The only solution to that is: I have to stay in denial. So, goodbye!

The good news is that I’ve found a way to compensate. I haven’t really given it much thought, until last night, when I realised that the vegetables I’ve eaten in the past days, were all more local than local. Not all vegetables, but lots of them. The thing is this: I’ve been staying in a house with a vegetable garden. It’s not fully functional, we’ve only just planted asparagus. That will yield real live asparagus in another three years. Yup, three whole years. We’ve also planted artichokes. That will hopefully bloom this summer. And since you eat the flowers, that should be yum! Hopefully they’ll live through the winter, and than we’ll have some more artichokes next year. I’m making sure I’ll be sleeping next to the artichoke plants, so that I will get my share.

Nevermind the produce that will take anywhere between a few months and a few years, lets talk about the vegetables that I have already eaten. It started out with a little bit of chives, a few leaves of parsley, a tiny bit of marjoram, in other words: just a few fresh local spices. On saturday I made a lovely salad and decided I would want to include a little bit of ‘couleur locale’. So I took the scissors and walked into the garden. I cut off some chives, a bit of parsley, a little marjoram and I went crazy and decided that the real early radishes and rucola would be good enough for this salad too! I harvested them, washed them, put them in the salad. And it was great!

Sunday I was getting rid of some weeds when I discovered another batch of radishes. And they were big! They cried for help and I couldn’t help it, but I pulled the big ones out. Everyone had some lovely radishes on a cheese sandwich. If that had been all, life would have been great already. It’s such a joy to harvest something that has been homegrown, you wouldn’t believe it. But for dinner, I went out and took almost all the rucola home. I was making a delicious pesto with ramsons and rucola (with scallion instead of ramsons) to go with salmon. It was a homerun. I just wish I could come up with such a great pesto recipe. But then again, I’m not Italian, and I’m not really a cook. Anyway, it was a great day!

On Monday I made turnip green stamppot. You know the drill, I love it, so everyone has to love it. It was quite great and amazing. Though I had the wrong potatoes for it, and not cream cheese but just cheese. But I won’t complain, it was a great win, for everyone.

The great thing is that you can eat something within minutes after harvesting. All you know when you buy something in a supermarket is that it isn’t seconds after harvesting. It’s at least hours. When you walk out in the garden, pull out a radish, walk back inside to wash it, and then eat it, you can count the seconds. If you run you’ll make it quicker. If you don’t care about a little sand you can pull out & eat. There is no supermarket in the world that can beat you, even if you take a while to get to the sink to wash up your harvest. Ok, the crops don’t look stellar. Maybe a snail has had a bite, or a hare (we share our cabbage with a hare, he likes the stuff, man!), so it might be a little damaged. But the taste! Oh, but the taste! You’ve never tasted anything like it in your life. Never mind the size, the unevenness, the color, or the tiny bite another critter has had before you. It’s all in the taste.

I will share the pesto recipe with you soon, I think. I’m not sure it has copyright on it, and of course it is in Dutch. But it is worth breaking the law for. It’s great with different types of fish too! I might have to warn you: it has a decent amount of chives, scallion and garlic in it. Your loved ones might not like you for it. Unless you force feed it to them. It’s worth it!

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