Celeriac with Quince, in Turkish ‘Ayvalı Kereviz’, is a well-known seasonal Ottoman Cuisine side dish. It has celeriac, quince, orange juice, and mandarin juice ingredients in it. It is one of the best meze variety of wintertime.
In Turkey, we like to consume this side dish a lot between November and January months. It is because all the main ingredients grow during the winter period. Now, we are in November month and it is the best time to make this light flavored side dish.
Most people think that Turkish cuisine and Ottoman cuisine have mainly meat-oriented dishes. However; both cuisines are very well balanced when it comes to using meat or vegetables as ingredients. Especially the ones that have olive oil in them.
Celeriac with Quince is one of the most liked olive oil dishes among all Turkish people during wintertime. Thus, it is one of my favorite olive oil included side dishes too.
Is ‘Celeriac with Quince’ a meze or a side dish?
There is a big conflict among Turkish cuisine lovers about what type of dishes are considered as a meze or side dish. I am receiving tons of emails about this subject and I guess it is a good time to explain it.
When it comes to differentiating the mezes from the side dishes, there is no specific difference. It is all about how it is served (cold or hot) and how big the dish portion is served.
We prefer to name side dishes which are served in small serving plates as ‘meze’. If you only choose 1 or 2 meze varieties to eat together with your main dish with big portions then it becomes a ‘side dish’ (wingman of the main dish). For example; pilaf is a good example of a ‘side dish’. It suits well together with all most any meat dishes in Turkish cuisine.
On the other hand, if you choose to taste 4, 5, or even more different dishes on small serving plates before eating your main dish then it becomes ‘meze’. I hope this explanation clarifies the doubts a little bit.
How it is made?
This vegetable has 3 different parts and this dish is made from the root part of the vegetable. It is known as celeriac. The celery is the name of the green and crisp part of the vegetable. And, celery parsley is the flower part of this vegetable. We will make this side dish with the celeriac part of the vegetable.
It is a personal preference to add celery and celery parsley to the dish while it is cooking. I usually don’t add the celery part when I am making this dish. I only garnish the dish with the celery parsley before I serve.
Celeriac With Quince
- 2 Celeriac (mid size)
- 2 Quince
- 2 Carrots Slice cut
- 12 Shallots (small size) Peeled
- 1 Lemon Freshly Squeezed
- 50 ml Olive oil Extra Virgin
- 250 ml Freshly squeezed Orange Juice
- 150 ml Freshly squeezed Mandarin Juice
- 2 White sugar cube (4 grams each)
- 1 teaspoon Salt
Put three glass of water into a bowl and add freshly squeezed lemon juice into it. (it will be used to prevent chopped celeriac and chopped quince pieces to get darken)
Remove the celery parsley from the celery top and wash them and set aside to use garnishing at the end.
Peel the celeriac and chop into approximately 4cm (1.5 inches) pieces. And put them into lemon and water mix and set aside.
Pour extra virgin olive oil into the pot and put carrot, shallot onions and then stir for about 3 minutes.
Add the freshly squeezed orange juice, freshly squeezed mandarin juice, and 2 sugar cubes into the pot and bring the heat to the medium level. Close the lid and let the mix cook 20 minutes more after it boiled.
Take out the chopped celeriac pieces from the bowl of water-lemon juice mix and add them to the pot. Stir them well and then close the lid and cook 20 minutes.
While the celeriac and other ingredients are cooking, peel the quince and chop them into the same size as celeriac, and then put them into the same bowl of water-lemon juice mix.
After 20 minutes passed, take out the chopped quince pieces from the bowl of water-lemon juice mix and add them to the pot. Stir them well and then close the lid and cook 15 minutes.
Take the pot from the heat and set aside. Let it cool down to room temperature.
Tip: Garnish with Celery Parsley.