Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Where are the celery leaves? {Recipe: Xoirino me selino}

Every time I go to the supermarket, I am so disappointed to see the celery stalks with no leaves.  Look at the picture below....aren't the leaves the prettiest part of the celery? Why are they chopped off?  In my opinion, the green foliage is the best part especially for cooking.  They add so much flavor to my soups, to my sauces and even my salads when they are freshly chopped.

This week I was so excited to see the luscious celery leaves in my garden!  Just by looking at them, I knew instantly which recipe I would be sharing for today's post. My mouth is watering just thinking about this dish.

Lucky me, I will be eating this amazing dish tomorrow!   Double lucky because my dad's sister will be preparing it for me!  She is the expert at preparing "xoirino me selino."  I will be paying close attention to her cooking method and I will be sharing her secrets in another post.  For those that cannot wait, here is the recipe inspired by Lynn Livanos Athan:

{Xoirino me selino avgolemono} Pork stew with celery leaves:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3-1/2 lbs. pork shoulder (or pork butt) roast, trimmed of fat and cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 1 small can of tomato juice
  • celery leaves from 20 stalks cut into 1-1/2 inch pieces and blanched
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
  • Juice of two lemons (strained)
  • 2 large eggs (at room temperature)
  • salt and pepper to taste


In a Dutch oven or stockpot, heat the olive oil together over medium high heat. Season the pork chunks with salt and freshly ground black pepper and then saute until nicely browned on both sides.
Remove the pork to a platter and keep warm. Add the onion to the pot and saute until nicely tender, about 5 minutes. Add the 2 tbsp. flour to the pot and cook for about a minute until incorporated. Add the pork (with the juices), the stock and tomato juice and allow the liquid to come to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer covered for about 30 minutes.  Add the celery leaves and the dill to the pot and simmer covered for approximately 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Prepare the Avgolemono sauce:
Using a whisk, beat the egg whites in a medium bowl until frothy.  In another bowl beat egg yolks and slowly whisk in the lemon juice. Add egg yolk-lemon juice mixture to frothy egg whites.  Ladle one cup of the pot liquid little by little into egg-lemon mixture to temper the eggs.
Remove pot from heat and add egg-lemon mixture stirring gently. Heat over very low heat until sauce thickens and is heated through. Take care not to allow the sauce to boil or the eggs will curdle.
Re-season with salt and freshly ground black pepper as needed.

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