Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Back to Dublin - where is the summer? Myself and Max spent the last three weeks in Poland - we are Polish (yes, a lot of us in Ireland now). We come from very beautiful city of Wrocław. Everybody has probably heard about Warsaw or Cracow, but believe me, Wrocław is the most friendly. And inhabited by dwarves.

The abundance of fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables at the Polish markets now: asparagus, strawberries, cherries (just beginning)... Temperatures about 30 degrees C, Sun, I miss you! A lot of meetings, talks and this deep feeling of being in between... Two homes, two countries.

Let's start from asparagus. A little luxury in life :-) Great for your kidneys and generally good for a body detox, still in season. Unfortunately they are very expensive here and seem not very popular. But, if you can, buy them now remembering that the best are the freshest ones growing locally.

I prepare soups or simply roast (this method intensifies the flavour) them in a little olive/sesame oil or ghee. They have a unique taste and may be boiled or steamed too and served with a nice sauce (e.g. tamari soy sauce, a little grated fresh ginger, roasted sesame seeds). I always add some fresh herbs like rocket, dill or parsley, some spices (freshly ground green pepper!), roasted almond flakes and what else my imagination wants at given moment.

Max's favourite dish in Wrocław was an asparagus soup with polenta:
  • 1,5 l stock (chicken or vegetable)
  • 1 bunch of asparagus
  • 2 small parsnips
  • 1 onion
  • ghee (olive oil)
  • handful of almonds without a skin
  • 1 bay leaf, 1 allspice, salt
  • miso or tamari soy sauce
Sauté the finely diced onion in a little ghee (or olive) until soft (it gives sweeteness), add diced parsnip and stir for a while, then add cut asparagus (remember to remove tough ends and pare the skin when you have the white variety), almonds, stock, bay leaf and allspice. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes. Then you can blend it (Max prefers not blended).
Season with salt and pepper, add a lot of finely chopped fresh dill before serving. Optionally add miso (I prefer shiro miso) or tamari.
We love it with chickpeas (boil them separetly earlier) and polenta. Our favorite way or cooking polenta:
  • 1 cup of polenta
  • 3 cups water
  • sauted (in olive oil or ghee) finely diced leeks (or onions)
  • a piece of pumpkin cutting to squares
  • salt and thyme (or rosemary)
Mix polenta with hot water (slowly), then add leeks and pumpkin, season with salt and thyme. Pour into a flat cake tin and put into a pre-heated oven (180 degrees C) for 30 mins.

Smacznego! Enjoy!


P.S. My dear friend, Ania S., do you remember this meal?

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