Setting the Tone : Gruyere Steeped Celery Root and Pumpernickel Rye Toasts

comments 9
Appetizers / Savory / soup

Gruyere Broth // Makes 2 cups

3 cups water
3 oz gruyere cheese, roughy sliced
1 leek, stalk only, sliced
1 tsp salt
* 1 square sheet cheesecloth and kitchen twine

Roughly slice or chop the gruyere and place onto a square cut of cheesecloth, secure it with kitchen twine, and set aside.

In a small sauce pot, over medium heat, combine the water, cheese sachet, leeks, and salt. Let the contents simmer for about 20 minutes, letting the cheese steep into water. (After simmering uncovered, the liquid should reduce down and yield about 2 cups.) Remove from heat, strain the broth through a fine mesh sieve, while also pressing out the remaining liquid from the cheese sachet and leeks. Reserve broth in medium saucepan on low to serve, or refrigerate for later use. Note a thin layer of milk fat will reside on the surface of the broth from the cheese. Feel free to skim this off the top or leave it for a richer taste.

Celery Root Puree // Makes about 1 quart

1 celery root, medium to large, peeled, large diced
2 small yukon gold potatoes, peeled, large diced
1/4 cup heavy cream
*2 cups gruyere broth
kosher salt, to taste

Peel celery root and potatoes, cut crosswise, and dice into 1 inch pieces. Put the root vegetables in a medium saucepan of cold salted water to cover. Bring to a simmer and cook until they are just tender, about 10 minutes.In the meantime, combine the cream and gruyere broth in a medium saucepan on low.

Transfer the vegetables to a food mill or tami. Pass them through, and incorporate the mash into the medium saucepan of warm gruyere broth and cream. Once completely incorporated, strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve for a smoother consistency. Taste for seasonings, hold for service , or store for later use.

Rye Salad Toasts // Makes 8 toasts

1/2 loaf pumpernickel rye bread, sliced, cut into rectangles or desired shape
1-2 oz jar wild salmon roe
3-4 tb creme fraiche
1/4 red onion, quartered, thinly sliced
1 avocado, thinly sliced
3-4 radishes, thinly sliced
salt and pepper, to taste
2-3 sprigs dill
1/4 bunch watercres
micro herbs

Slice the bread and cut into rectangles or desired shape, (I left the crust on) and toast until crispy. Arrange on serving board or platter, place individual slices of avocado on each piece of toast with a few thinly sliced red onion gracing the top of the avocado. Spoon some salmon eggs over the toast and dollop or pipe the creme fraiche near and around the eggs. Place a few radishes over each piece. Garnish each toast with some dill, watercress, and micro herbs. Season with salt and pepper. Serve over gruyere steeped celery root puree.


  1. Your toasts really are pretty and that’s no small thing. Beauty enriches our world, and I do think it’s important. The message on the tombstone was so touching too.

  2. Lovely installment – this is how I feel about food, but as of yet am unable to express it as eloquently. Cheers!

  3. What a gorgeous post! I couldn’t agree more with “to each his own”. What one person finds pretty or beautiful isn’t necessarily so to the next. I think that’s part of the wonderful thing that makes the world a wonderful place.

    Your pumpernickel rye toasts look beautiful to me. The colours, the textures, and the little orbs of roe are like jewels peaking out. Beautiful!

  4. This is very beautiful, as always, and I really love your blog, but I have to wonder, do you read the comments that people take time to make on your posts? You don’t follow back on Twitter. Disappointed, just saying.

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