One of my favorite vegetable is celery; I love both its root and stalk and use them in various ways. I know most people hate the smell of celery root or stalk while it’s cooking, but that’s what I love. That scent definitely makes me hungry. I generally use its stalk in some soups, and put its roots in some olive oil dishes or stews. This celery root salad is new to me, I learnt it yesterday and I couldn’t wait more for sharing it with you.
One of our relatives moved to their new house a few weeks ago. There is a lovely tradition here: If someone close to you (in terms of relationship, not distance) moves to a new house, you visit them with a gift for their new house. But you shouldn’t do this by the time they move as it takes some time to establish themselves in their house. Finally we called yesterday and told that we wanted to visit them if it was ok for them, too. The lady of the house is so good at cooking that she always prepares amazing dishes whenever we visit them. So yesterday we knew that a fabulous dinner table would be waiting for us. We thought that the best gift for this couple would be a bottle of Turkish Efe raki as they both love it. When we were in the market to buy raki, I saw a pair of lovely wooden candlesticks just before we left. Of course we bought them as well.
It was a wonderful dinner and night together with them as usual. They were so kind to serve the raki we brought and to put the candlesticks on the table with lighting candles in them. In Turkish culture, if guests bring something to the house as a gift, they expect the houseowners to serve (if it’s a food or beverage) or use (if it’s an object) it in front of them. This is a sign of how valuable the guests are.
We ate all the dishes with a great appetite, but one of them was new to me and I still can’t forget its taste in my mouth. They were so generous to share the recipe, so I’d like to thank to them here. I made this tasty appetizer for dinner today to serve with a kind of meat stew. All of it was gone in just a few seconds.
- 1 celery root
- 3 tbsp mayonnaise
- A handful of walnut, crumbled
- ½ cup (greek) strained yogurt
- 3 cloves garlic, mashed
- 1tsp salt
- Basil leaves for garnishing
In a large bowl, dilute the strained yogurt with little water. Add mashed garlic and mayonnaise, mix them well.
Grate the celery root in another bowl and then add it to yogurt. Do not wait the grated celery root long before mixing it with yogurt as it quickly starts to blacken.
Now toss the crumbled walnut, sprinke salt and stir. Place leaves of basil and some walnut pieces on the top before serving. This is a wonderful savory food to serve with raki.
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