The Delightful Dutch Dish

How one can cook oneself back into local reality

No Asparagus April 10, 2010

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

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…




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.


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*