After the doom and gloom that was inauguration day, I joined throngs of people around the world for the Women's March. In just one day--and for the first day since Trump's election--my despair gave way to something like hope.
Stuart and I marched proudly here in NYC with hundreds of thousands of others who were engaging in an inspiring display of dissent against the Trump presidency.
At the same time, my 17 year old niece was marching in DC. She organized nearly 50 of her fellow classmates to travel down to DC and march together. I'm so very proud of her. She gives me inspiration and hope.
The question now is where do we go from here?
My hope is that we can capitalize on this momentum and turn it into a sustained movement for political change. But there's a staggering amount of work to be done.
Along the way, food can be a source of sustenance and strength. It can also be a source of connection, community and collaboration. But it need not be austere.
Part of what moved me most about the march on Saturday was the diversity, beauty and creativity I witnessed. Food can provide a small spark of this, too.
The dish I share with you here is both nourishing and beautiful. A little detour from the long road ahead.
Celery Root with Chestnuts
Recipe Adapted from "I love NY" by Daniel Humm and Will Guidara
Roasted Celery Root
2 small celery roots, unpeeled, roots intact
2 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, smashed
2 sprigs thyme
1. Preheat the oven to 370 degrees F.
2. Create foil packets with the celery roots, butter, garlic and thyme. Season with salt and seal the packets. Roast until tender, about 1 hour. (Depending on the size and freshness, the roots may need up to 1/2 hour more of cooking.) Let cool.
3. Slice the roots about 1/2-inch thick.
225 g cooked chestnuts
60 g cognac
240 ml beef stock
80 g creme fraiche
1. Heat a little olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the chestnuts and toast until dark brown and fragrant, about 5 minutes.
2. Remove the pan from the heat, add the cognac and flambe. Return to the heat and cook until nearly dry.
3. Add the stock, bring to a simmer and cook, covered (with the lid cracked), until very tender.
4. Puree the chestnuts in a blender with the cooking liquid and creme fraiche. Season with salt.
Celery Root Puree
1 pound celery root, sliced thin
1 tablespoon butter
1. Place the celery root in a saucepan along with the butter, sugar and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil then simmer until the celery root is very tender, about 30 minutes.
2. Transfer the celery root and some of the cooking liquid to a blender and puree. Stir in a splash of cream and season with salt.
1 cup cooked chestnuts, crumbled
3 tablespoons butter
1. Melt the butter in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the chestnuts and sauteee until golden brown, about 8 minutes.
Celery Root Crumble
4 ounces celery root, peeled and diced
4 ounces russet potatoes, peeled and diced
Oil, for frying
1. Place the celery root and potatoes in a blender and fill half way with water. Blend until the mixture resembles coarse sand. Pour the mixture through a fine strainer and rinse to remove excess starch. Transfer the mixture to kitchen towel and ring out the excess water.
2. Heat the oil to 220 degrees F. Fry the mixture, stirring continuously, until golden. Drain in a fine mesh strainer then transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Season with salt.
To finish the dish
2 tablespoons butter
1. Melt the butter in a saute pan. Add 4 celery root slices and glaze them with the butter. Season with salt.
2. Place a spoonful of celery root puree on each plate. Top with the glazed celery root slice. Add a dollop or two of the chestnut puree. Sprinkle with the sauteed chestnuts. Sprinkle with the celery root crumble. Add a few celery leaves.