Leeks and celery roots with lemon and dill

This is a Greek traditional recipe that I’ve changed a bit by adding dill and making the sauce with egg (optional) and lemon, like my mother. They’ve told me that the association of leeks with celery is not very common in French cuisine and I must admit that when I’ve tasted this dish and remembered its taste since my childhood, I realized that the remark was pretty correct. Try to make the recipe and you will see that it’s quite good and not very common :-) A bit of originality did not harm anyone right?

You can either eat this as a full dish and in that case the proportions are for 2 persons or you can use it as a side dish for 4 persons.

It’s up to you!

In two words: 

“…but I must admit that it’s from there where I left”.

Pierre-François Lacenaire
To Start...

difficulty easy
preparation-10'
cooking - 15′
serves - 4  

Ingredients

  • 7 small leeks only the white part (~260gr)
  • ½ onion of medium size
  • 115gr of celery roots without the skin
  • 2 teaspoons of dill
  • 4 teaspoons of olive oil
  • 250ml of hot water
  • ¾ of the juice of a medium size lemon
  • ½ teaspoon of corn starch (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon of fleur de sel or coarse salt
  • 10 turn mills of Kampot black pepper

option #1

  • 1 egg

Steps

  • Slice off the bottom part of the leeks and the green part, you should only keep the white part
  • Wash the leeks and slice them in two horizontally
  • Peel and chisel finely the onion
  • Peel the celery roots and slice them in sticks 0,5cm of width and in two on their length
  • Boil enough water to cover the vegetables in two separate small casseroles
  • Once the water is boiling add the vegetables separately in the casseroles
  • Let them boil for 5’ concerning the leeks and 6’ for the celery roots
  • Drain them separately and keep them separately
  • Heat-up a medium size casserole in high heat
  • Add the sliced onion and stir until its humidity evaporates a bit
  • Add the olive oil and continue to stir until it becomes a bit brown
  • Add the leeks and stir until coating them with olive oil
  • Add the celery sticks and stir with the rest of the ingredients
  • Add the dill and stir gently to spread it all over the vegetables
  • Add the water and stir
  • Add salt and pepper and stir one last time
  • Put the lid on and cook for 10’, at the end the vegetables should be cooked but should still be a bit firm and there should also be some sauce
  • Use a ladle to remove as much of the sauce as possible by pressing gently the vegetables, put the sauce in a bowl
  • Add the lemon juice and stir, the taste of the sauce should quite lemony
  • Use a whisk or a fork to dilute the corn starch into the sauce (optional)
  • For a vegan dish put the sauce back into the casserole and cook for a little while in high heat to thick the sauce, if you want a traditional dish you should continue withoption #1
  • Sprinkle some dill on top of the dish and serve with a little bit of bread and some feta cheese (optional)
  • Taste and enjoy!

Option #1

  • Add the egg white into a bowl with just a little bit of salt
  • Start beating the egg white and when it’s half his way up, start adding the sauce gradually and keep beating the egg after each addition
  • Pour the sauce into the casserole and cook a little bit in high heat to thicken the sauce
  • Continue the recipe as above staring right where you stopped

Inspiration

A Greek recipe called Leeks and Celery with Egg-Lemon Sauce in this book Alexiadou Vefa, Greek Cuisine, Vefa Alexiadou, Athens, 2004, p.86

If you want to know more about the author of the book, Ms Vefa Alexiadou, and her Greek traditional cooking, just have a look at this recipe.

o-o C'est si bon ! o-o

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