The Delightful Dutch Dish

How one can cook oneself back into local reality

First Celeriac April 18, 2010

Filed under: cooking — orangepumpkin @ 18:17
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It’s spring and I’m celebrating. I don’t care for winter vegetables anymore. But I promised I would have some celeriac, sometime. It’s good for me, it’s good for you, so why not? But it’s a winter vegetable. So when the sun is out and about and I’m enjoying things like turnip greens and eventually asparagus, why would I ever have celeriac?

Yesterday I was at the local vegetable garden, they have a shop and you can buy local veggies. Which is great, of course. Since these veggies have been grown mere meters (ahem, kilometers) from my home, and that’s as close as it can get. I know that there are veggies closer to home, but they’re grown by people for their own use. They’re being extremely selfish in not selling. But anyway, that’s ok. Because at least somebody is willing to grow vegetables and sell them. And they grow celeriac, too! All winter the hugest of huge celeriacs have been staring at me whenever I went there. But I thought, what is a little girl like me going to do with a big huge fat celeriac like that? When I say big, huge, fat and all that, I mean that these celeriacs truly were the size of pumpkins. Pumpkins have a hole in them, where they keep their seeds. Celeriacs don’t. So what was I going to do with a solid celeriac? I didn’t buy them. I decided against their bulkiness. Which was good. But yesterday when I paid the gardens a visit they had this reasonably sized celeriac. And I knew I had to buy it. So I did.

And today I ate it. I made a simple but truly gorgeous stamppot out of it. You don’t have to, though. The great thing about celeriac is you only have to use a bit in your mashed potatoes to give that just a little bit extra. It’s great, mashed potatoes with mashed celeriac in it. But you can also throw it into your soup. I guess any kind of soup. Celeriac has a natural broth-like taste. It’s lovely!

Today though, I made this brilliant local dish (only local ingredients) and even though that on itself qualifies it for a Friday recipe, I thought I shouldn’t wait any longer. Winter is over, spring has arrived, the sun is shining, and there is still place for celeriac, albeit a little small. It’s still spring like!

Ingredients

1 small celeriac

4 big potatoes (about 600 grams I assume)

1 table spoon cream cheese

salt

fresh cut chives

Boil potatoes and diced celeriac for 20 minutes. Drain them (you don’t want soup), and mash them with the cream cheese and salt. Serve with a little bit of chives on top. Very nice, smooth and elegant.

 

Simply Pasta April 17, 2010

Filed under: cooking — orangepumpkin @ 18:37

A few years ago I made Bolognese sauce from scratch. I’ve always loved Bolognese anything. Pizza, crisps, pasta, you name it. Bolognese sells, or at least to me. Anyway, I loved it a lot, but I didn’t particularly care for the standard package type of sauce. It was either too fat (really… disgusting!), or it was too salty, or it was just too whatever. It wasn’t just right. So I Googled a recipe and I found it. I found many different recipes of Bolognese sauce. The quantities that went in there were stellar. Really, even I thought at one point, that the whole country would have to come get a share, and I still would have plenty left. After a long cooking time it was finally finished and I served it with some pasta to myself and a few friends. It’s been a while and the memory of what it exactly tasted like is a bit faded, but I do remember that from the first bite I knew this was the most amazing and perfect Bolognese sauce I had ever tasted. I had enough for an army, but we ended up nearly finishing the stuff. It was damn good! It was elegant, it was subtle, it wasn’t too salty, it wasn’t too fat, it wasn’t too whatever. It was just perfect. My taste buds went to heaven and I had to go there to fetch them, because my goodness, I had some more of that divine stuff to eat!

After this immense success I knew I had to do it again. I had to make Bolognese sauce. I had to share its divinity with the world. No one except the few friends that actually tasted it would believe me if I didn’t. After a few months I ended up deciding this was the right time for a second try. I Googled for a recipe and I found something. It was easy, I recognised the websites, so I was sure this was all said and done. I remembered that I had somehow combined a few recipes to get the gist of Bolognese sauce, and since that had resulted in the most perfect Bolognese sauce ever, I went for it again. The only thing I did wrong was moderation. When I’m super enthusiastic about something, I get carried away. And with the memory of the most perfect Bolognese sauce still lingering on my lips, I got carried away. I got carried far and away. I ended up in the Himalayas. Which, mind you, is long and far from Bologna. So there I was, on the top of Mt. Everest and I had no idea.

It went a little something like this: I had an equally big pan to make this most amazing sauce. I threw in about every ingredient that I remembered. But I did something else too. I threw in every other ingredient that I didn’t particularly remember but that I felt would make the sauce even more perfect than it could ever be. It’s a trivial mistake and I make it almost all the time when I’m superbly enthused and carried away. And I was on Mt. Everest, remember? So I was enjoying the Himalayas, while the sauce that I should have been paying attention to, was getting too whatever. It wasn’t too salty, it wasn’t too fat, but it was too whatever. It had too much going on. My taste buds had no idea what was happening to them, and my brain kept thrusting the memory of the most perfect Bolognese sauce ever on them. But all my taste buds could give in reply was: it’s nothing like it! And it wasn’t. It wasn’t gross, but it wasn’t perfect, it was OK. And that was not what I had set out to do. I didn’t cry, because I rarely do that, but I was very disappointed and I asked myself: what did I do differently? The truth is, I didn’t know. I didn’t exactly remember what I’d done the first time around. I hadn’t written it down. I hadn’t blogged about it, or if I had I’d just stated that I’d made the most perfect Bolognese sauce ever, without giving away any details. I ended up sort of vowing never to make my own pasta sauce again. Simply because I could never reproduce that one perfect, spot on, first try.

Until today, that is. Recently I’ve tried some sauces from various manufacturers and I hated them. Because I’ve been getting to the hate point gradually over time, and I’ve finally arrived. I do ‘hate’. I hate these instant pasta sauces they sell you. They’re usually not too fat, but they’re too salty, they contain too many chemicals, too little vegetables, and they’re generally shitty. A few months ago I bought a jar of pasta sauce at the closest supermarket I know, and there was barely anything in there. The tomato sauce wasn’t made of tomatoes. It was some slimy kind of red blob with a few bits in it. It was goo-ey. It was disgusting. If it had tasted OK, I think I would’ve been more forgiving. But it tasted even worse than it looked. It was terrible. And while I was munching on my good pasta with terrible goo all over it, I decided I’d had enough. OK, so I blew the old fantastic Bologna sauce to smithereens, that could happen, right? It was only my second time and all. Not that I was going to try again. All I was going to do was not have the yuck-stuff and do something better all by myself. Because that shouldn’t be too hard, I figured.

So I bought a bottle of tomato-pulp. It’s organic, so it’s in a bottle. I don’t buy it because it’s organic, I’m not an organic food freak. Even though ‘orange pumpking’ almost is an anagram of ‘organic pumpkin’, almost, because I don’t get more than ‘organ pumpkin’, and that sounds a bit bizarre. I buy the tomato pulp because it is good stuff. It’s just tomatoes, nothing else. No sweetener, no condensing, no extra water, no nothing. Just tomatoes. Ok, so maybe they’ve added a few chemicals to keep it edible for a while. I used it on my pizza’s, when I had a pizza frenzy. I will probably blog about that some more later. I figured that having this lovely tomato pulp over my pasta and nothing else would surely be better than the chemically enhanced shite from the jars. And it was. It wasn’t perfect. It was only OK, but it wasn’t like eating a science project. It was like eating tomato pulp and pasta. I’d added salt and a few herbs and I liked it. It needed improvement and while I was eating I pondered over what ingredients I could add safely without harming my taste buds. I decided I could add onions and garlic. It’s in my kitchen already, so I decided I would a next time.

And I did. I even threw in two carrots for good measure. All I can say is that I’m on the mend. One day I will attempt the perfect Bolognese sauce again. And it will be better than my second attempt at it. It will have improved. Because I have learnt a lesson: moderation. Keep it simple. Don’t overdo it. Keep it honest. Throw in this or that, but not this AND that. And if you do, leave something else out. I will recover from the immense Bolognese trauma I have suffered. And all will turn out OK, or perfect. If I do make the sauce and I live to tell it, I will finally give you the recipe, because this time, I will remember it, write it down and include all the details of it. This pasta sauce I made, with the tomato pulp, one big onion, two cloves of garlic and two carrots: it was great. It was tasty, it was subtle, it was simple. And it dawned on me: pasta sauce is supposed to be simple. Pasta is supposed to be simple. Even when it isn’t, it should always taste as if it is the simplest thing on earth.

 

Chicory and shrimp! April 16, 2010

Filed under: salad,side dish,vegetable — orangepumpkin @ 09:24
Tags: , ,

I don’t really know how I feel about my endeavour, right now. Because I don’t particularly care for two of the ingredients: chicory and baby shrimp. Well, it’s not actually baby shrimp, it’s crangon crangon. But they’re the smallest shrimp I’ve ever seen or eaten. In Dutch we call them ‘Hollandse Garnalen’, which translates into Dutch Shrimp. That probably is because 80% of those shrimp are caught by Dutch (and German) vessels. But I don’t really like these grey shrimp. They’re tasting too fishy to me. I don’t particularly like it.

The thing is, the name implies that they’re local. And to some extent, that’s true. They’re caught in the North Sea, and the Dutch coastline borders only the North Sea. So in everyone’s mind, some fisherman walks out into the sea, catches himself a bunch of these shrimp, peels them, and then eats them. How local do you want your shrimp? It doesn’t get more local than that. Well, to some amateur fishermen this could be true. I’ve seen these shrimp on the beaches, not many, but they’re there. So they definitely live in the North Sea, and even make it to our Dutch coast. But the shrimp you buy in the supermarket aren’t local. They just aren’t. I know this because there was a Dutch TV-programme about it a while back. They traced the route these supposedly Dutch shrimp travel before they end up on your plate. What it boils down to is that they’re being caught off the coast of Denmark. Ok, so that’s a little north of the Netherlands, Denmark and the Netherlands share a group of islands (the Wadden Islands), so you could argue that it’s just around the corner. On board of the vessel that catches these shrimp, they’re boiled, then they’re sold in Yerseke, which is in the most southern part of the country. It could be IJmuiden too, at least some place with a fish auction. If you’re a supermarket, you buy your fish at one of these commercial auctions. We’re talking big fishy business. Then these little grey shrimp are shipped to Marocco. See, that’s how local these Dutch shrimp are. Maroccans peel the shrimp for a few cents where Dutch employees would cost ten to a hundred times more. So yes, economically shipping the shrimp to Marocco is a good decision. In terms of local produce it’s ridiculous. After the Peeling of the Shrimp (that would be a great title for a thriller, wouldn’t it?), they’re being shipped to Germany, where they’re being packaged. I think that after or before that they’re once again sold in Yerseke, or IJmuiden, or whatever, but I’m not sure about that. When they’re packaged they’re finally moving to the supermarkets, through a busy distribution system that will take the shrimps on a sight-seeing tour of the country.

You see, besides that I don’t much care about the taste of these shrimp, I have a little ‘local-produce’ concern about them. According to my supermarket, the shrimp I’ve just bought are caught in the North Sea and the Wadden (which actually means they could be from anywhere between Scandinavia and Spain, and they probably are). But they’re ‘green’ because no other fish are harmed in the process. But they are, because the Dutch trawlers use nets that drag over the bottom of the sea, and they catch other fish that are not so ‘green’. Anyway, I have enough reason not to buy them, but I did anyway. Because the recipe demanded it.

I must say, that after I was done with my salad and I ate it, I didn’t feel so bad about the shrimp and chicory. They were doing quite nicely in there. I liked the overall taste, and the way my extensive use of mayonnaise covered some of it up. And the excessive use of chives did do something good, too. Ok, I didn’t love it. And I’m not sure if I will make it again. But it was better than I expected. I’ll give these well-traveled shrimp some credit. And the not-so bitter chicory, of course!

Ingredients

2 chicory

100 gr Dutch shrimp (I suppose you could use any type of small shrimp, really)

3 table spoons mayonnaise

freshly cut chives

2 tea spoons soy sauce (Japanese)

1 tea spoon lemon juice

1 apple (Granny Smith)

2 table spoons freshly cut chives

freshly ground chili pepper (Ok, I don’t have that, I used chili pepper powder instead)

Cut the chicory in small bits. Mix the mayonnaise and soy sauce in a bowl, add chili pepper and lemon juice. Cut the apple into small dice, I left the skin on for extra colourful effect. Mix apple, shrimp, chicory and chives in the mayonnaise-mix. Enjoy!

How Local?

shrimp: see above, pretty damn non-local

chicory: Dutch

chives: cut off in my own kitchen, but I bought the plant at the supermarket first

mayonnaise: made it myself

the spices & lemon juice were pretty non-local too.

 

Brassicaceae April 12, 2010

Filed under: vegetable — orangepumpkin @ 18:34
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Recently I discovered something. I love most vegetables from the Brassicaceae-family. I have a preference towards them even. As well as aliaceae (onions, garlic, leek, I mean, what would life be without them?), but I already knew that. I just didn’t know that so many of the things I love are related to each other in the Brassicaceae-family.

First of all: garden cress. My life is depending on it! I use garden cress in a lot of things. For instance my kick ass sandwiches. They need cress. Lots of cress!

Another thing: rucola (rocket).  It’s another family member. It has a bit of a peppery taste. Which, apparently, is characteristic. I like rucola. I like the word. ‘Rucola’. I can say that in the mirror time and again, until I almost feel Italian. Because I think it is Italian. And I love Italy. I’ve never been there, but I should move there, and never leave again. I could have pommodori and rucola. I could have pesto and avocado (ok, thats Peruvian, but I’d plant a avocado tree there, and I’ll kick it if it doesn’t grow enough avocados). I could have mozzarella and olive oil. And I wouldn’t feel like a sinner every time I have these things. It would be perfectly OK and normal. Because they’re Italian. I would eat pasta, and only pasta. I’d never have to bother with any depressing potato-dishes anymore. I’d drink wine like it’s water. I’d run around in a t-shirt and skirt, I’d wear flip-flops year round. And life would be great.

Um, sorry, I wasn’t talking about Italy, was I? Oh yes, I remember. Brassicaceae!

Did you know another family member is mustard? Yup. I like mustard. I think mustard is awesome. I remember that we went on a holiday to France (don’t worry, I won’t get sidetracked here, I hate France. Even if they have tomatoes, rucola, mozzarella, and the Provence. France sucks). It was in the Provence. I fell in love with the lavender fields. It’s the only good thing from France, you know, lavender fields. Lavender honey. Lavender oil. But anyway, we also went to a market in a small Provençal village. Which was awesome. My mum bought us French comics. The sun was shining. There were grapes. And then we went to a lavender field and we bought some of the most awesome honey I’ve ever tasted. In another village we bought a few jars of special mustard. And I remember one specifically. It was the most awesome mustard ever made. It was ‘moutarde au miel’, there’s no way to say that in another language, it just doesn’t have the same ring to it. But ok, since you probably don’t know that ‘miel’ is honey, I’ll translate; it was mustard with honey, honey mustard. And boy! Friggin’ awesome! As was the mustard with the cool herbs, but I don’t remember that one as well as the ‘moutarde au miel’, because in my teeny tiny child’s mind, that was (and is) the most awesome mustard. Ever.

See, no sidetrack, it was all about mustard! But, I found out yesterday that there is another cool family member of Brassicaceae: radish. Right now, I think I should start a religion. I will devote all my life to eating Brassicaceae and worshipping the divinity of it. But I’m not exactly religious, so it would be hypocrite to worship a vegetable, and then eat it, wouldn’t it? So I won’t. I just tell you that I think Brassicaceae deserve their own house of worship: a restaurant!

And another family member is: raapsteeltjes (turnip greens, I’ve loved ’em before)! I love those! I think Spring could not be celebrated right without a raapsteel-stamppot (oh, it’s the potatoes again!). Life wouldn’t be the same without them, that’s all I’m saying.

But let’s not forget about horseradish. I love that stuff! Besides Italian food I have a weak spot for Japanese. And the Japanese cuisine in itself can be considered religion. But especially sushi and sashimi are true religions. They worship wasabi. And wasabi is made of horseradish. Wasabi is wonderful. Too much and you’ll die, or at least most of your taste buds will. Not enough, and you don’t feel half-alive. But just enough, oh la la! It will make you feel alive and awake. And then you still have a bit of tuna or salmon to enjoy while feeling properly alive. Yeah, wasabi’s the stuff I’d be surving in my house of worship!

And the most beautiful yellow flower (well, almost) is also a member of the extensive Brassicaceae-family: rapeseed (canola). I loved the fields of flowering rapeseed (which would’ve been both in France and the Netherlands, but they’re to be found in Germany as well).

The only part of the family I don’t really care for is the cabbage. I consider them the in-laws. They’re a sorry bunch trying to hitch a ride with their cool cousins. But that won’t fly. I think cabbage is worse than potatoes. I might kind of like broccoli, probably because it sounds kind of Italian, but the rest of them I really don’t care for. I think they’re depressing winter foods that should be banned. I’d prefer to eat leek and pumpkins all winter. Or just hibernate and don’t eat at all. But thank god I’ve got my peppered tasty friends left!

 

No Asparagus April 10, 2010

Filed under: cooking,main course,vegetable — orangepumpkin @ 18:32
Tags: ,

It’s so sad! Yesterday I was right in the mood for asparagus. It was spring, someone was bold enough to mow their lawn, teenage boys were jumping in the river from the bridge (and they froze their testicles off permanently, but they’ll only find that out in 10 years time when they’re trying to conceive a child), and I was on my bike. So I took a little tour to the local asparagus dealer, where you can fetch a shot. From afar I could see the white asparagus sign wasn’t up yet. And I had been looking forward to it, so I was really sad. I had to stand there and weep for at least 15 minutes. I had been looking forward to getting myself some asparagus heads. I know they look like penises and it’s probably a bad thing for a nice girl like me to go wild for asparagus heads, but I do. I have been going without them for over 9 months. Yes, that too is quite inappropriate. But hey, they’re asparagus. I can’t help it that they look like penises! It’s their fault! (I was going to make a witty comment about the taste, but I’ve decided against it, I have, really, I’ll keep silent forever)

Anyway, my asparagus dealer didn’t have any asparagus yet. I was eager to ring the doorbell anyway and say: Hey, it’s April, gimme my shot! It’s about bloody time! But I didn’t.

And today I read in the paper that asparagus season is unusually late. Because of a harsh winter, etc. The first asparagus have been harvested in Brabant (one of the Southern provinces) today. So I’m sure next week is better timing for my dealer to be able to provide my shot. I’ll make sure to try again! Another thing that caught my eye is that asparagus aren’t really popular in the Netherlands. The only group of people eating them are pensioners. Young single adults are especially NOT eating asparagus. Hmm. But I am! I’m young, I’m adult, I’m not a pensioner. I guess I’m kind of the exception to the rule. But I’ll keep the faith, I’ll be a pensioner some time, and by then I’ll be fitting the bill to eat asparagus. Right now I’ll just have to accept the fact that I’m a bit of a black sheep. And that the asparagus have taken until bloody April to show themselves. If there is a god of asparagus to hold responsible, I definitely will! Bastard!

 

Radish and Tuna April 9, 2010

Filed under: starter — orangepumpkin @ 17:51
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I found this recipe and it is such a lovely spring number, that I decided to make it. It’s not really Dutch I think, but I don’t care! Radish is something I deeply and profoundly love. I don’t see how someone could live without radish. The sharp peppery taste is such a joy! My taste buds are accustomed to most of the spicy tastes, and radish is definitely one of their favourites. I’ve asked,you see. I generally talk a lot with my taste buds, we have the most exciting chats! They usually go something like this:
Me: ‘Hmmm, avocado?’
Taste buds: ‘Oh hell yeah!’ and suddenly my mouth is watering, and I have to make sure I don’t look like some retarded drooling person.

Anyway, after a day out in the lovely spring sun, enjoying every single second of it, the cold wind, the warm sun, the singing birds, the new green leaves on the trees, I came home and I spotted a bottle of wine that had been there forever. And I decided I should drink it. I don’t usually drink wine, but I love white wine or rosé, especially on summer days. I don’t wish to imagine my summers without wine. So after one of the first true spring days I grabbed the bottle and I had a glass. After that I remembered I had gone shopping for some cute radishes and tuna to make some awesome food. And that’s what happened. I had radish, tuna and wine. (I keep typing ‘whine’, what is that? Wine, wine, wine, wine, wine!)

First I had to make my own crostini’s, because apparently, crostini’s were to be had. And the supermarket quit selling the coolest crostini wannabe’s ever. The directions included me putting some oil on a cut up baguette and then frying them in a grill pan. But I decided I would do things differently. I don’t have grill pan. I have an oven. And I have a toaster. The toaster has been on my countertop all week because I’ve been eating a lot of toast. I’ve been a bit lazy and stick in a frozen slice of bread, pulling it out nice and toasted a few minutes later. So, I cut up my baguette and toasted them. It worked nicely! I added a few drops of olive oil after toasting. It’s probably not the same thing, but I’m really not too bothered about it.

Next ingredient was mayonnaise. And I remembered some guy sharing a great recipe for a quick as hell mayonnaise (er, why does mayonnaise have two n’s? In Dutch it only has one, it’s shorter, and easier). It uses a stick blender. And since I’m the patron of lazy and easy, I should point out that I own an awesome stick blender. It has four different parts. It whips cream, it blends things, it chops up tougher things like meat. And the coolest feature (that I haven’t used yet) is: it crushes ice! I had to have such a divine stick blender. I simply had to buy it. And I had to buy it because my former stick blender was a one piece number and it was impossible to clean the thing without getting it all wet. So it wasn’t exactly clean most of the time, and that bothered me so much I had to buy a new one. One that could be taken apart properly.

Anyway, I made mayonnaise. And it wasn’t exactly awesome, but I’ll get to the super awesome mayonnaise sometime! The rest of the recipe, with my wine, was just great. And I enjoyed myself tremendously. I felt like spring. And I didn’t have any more potatoes! Ha! No more depressing winter food! Though I’d already kill for some raapsteeltjes again…

Ingredients

radish

baguette

3 table spoons mayonnaise

1,5 table spoons capers

2 table spoons olive oil

1 tin of tuna in oil (185 gr)

Wash the radish, cut off the green and the root, throw them in ice water (it makes them nice and crispy). Separate the oil from the tuna (you could save the oil for a salad, or throw it away like I did, I know, I will go to hell for that). Use a fork to mash the tuna a bit. Mix in the mayonnaise and the capers. Add some salt to taste. Slice the radish.

Cut the baguette in 16 slices, grill them with oil (or toast them). Put some tuna mix on the crostini, add a bit of radish. That’s it! And it’s quite alright.

How Local?

radish, Dutch, but from the supermarket

tuna, let’s not go there. Probably a million dolphins died for my one bit of tuna.

baguette, definitely Dutch

Capers, I have no idea, probably Italian asylum seekers

mayonnaise: the olive oil is from the South, the egg was local, the lemon juice was from the South again, the mustard was Dutch.

 

Super Sandwich April 3, 2010

Filed under: lunch — orangepumpkin @ 18:06
Tags: , ,

I make and eat this sandwich probably 5 days a week during summer. It just never gets boring! And it beats actual cooking and waiting for your dish to be done. You make the sandwich, and you eat it. Simply brilliant!

The main reason why I love this sandwich is not because it’s so easy, it’s because it’s so freaking awesome that even if you forget an ingredient, it’s still great! I’ve forgotten the cress, it was great. I’ve forgotten the pesto, it was great. I’ve had to eat it without ham, it was great. I’ve forgotten the rucola, and it was great. The only three things you cannot forget are creamcheese, bread and a type of salad.

Ingredients

Fresh bread, 2 slices per sandwich

Smoked ham, 1 slice per sandwich

Cream cheese (I use Philadelphia, and not the light version)

Pesto Rosso (I use Bertolli)

Rucola salad mix (rucola, Swiss chard, lollo rossa)

Garden cress

salt & my fave spice mix

I use cream cheese to butter both slices of bread, one with a thick layer, the other with a thin layer. The thick layered sandwich is the one I use to build my heavenly sandwich on. Next I put the salt and spices on. Then a slice of ham, as long as it’s smoked it’s good, in my opinion. I put a thin layer of pesto rosso on the ham. It has to be pesto rosso, because it barely tastes of pesto, and because it has tomatoes in. I know I’ve denied some secret love affair with tomatoes, but in all honesty: I couldn’t live without them. They have to be in my stomach every now and then. Because there’s no shortage on tomatoes and because I don’t truly feel guilty for eating them (Ha! There you go, Spanish tomatoes!), I don’t feel deprived, like I do when it concerns avocado. Hence my deeprooted love for avocado’s is a bit more hysterical. Anyway, the pesto rosso is the coolest thing to use. I only use Bertolli because I’m a very spoilt little brat and there’s no messing with my fondness of Italian food, but there probably is an alternative around. After that, I get on with the cress. Don’t go Dutch on the cress, and by that I mean: don’t be ‘zuinig’ (my dictionary translates that into ‘economical’ or ‘sparing’ or ‘thrifty’, but trust me, those are understatements for what ‘hollandse zuinigheid’ is, because it’s radical!). The sole reason not to go easy or slim on the cress is that if you do, you won’t taste it. There’s a lot of competing tastes going into this sandwich, and to keep it subtly tasting of cress, you need a relative truckload. I put on an even layer until it’s green and not much of the pesto rosso and ham underneath it can be seen. As a finishing touch: put on a big handful of salad mix. Really do. Don’t go easy on those either. Use the second slice of bread to smash the big sandwich into a size that might just fit your mouth. It’s absolutely wonderful!

How local?

I don’t care, I’d eat it with a polar bear on Antarctica if need be. And I’d travel to the North Pole to pick up the poor bastard! *picturing myself with icicle on my nose, sitting at a nicely set table, red & white checkered napkin around the polar bear’s neck, and sipping some wine*