Last weekend found me once again in Proef, a restaurant in Amsterdam’s Westerpark that serves local, organic food that is in season and creatively prepared. The atmosphere is cozy and inviting and the meals are satisfying and delicious.
The concept of the restaurant, created by Marije Vogelzang, is perfectly executed. Small details fill the space, from a guest book at each table and the proud pitcher of Amsterdam tap water to the presentation of food and the bathroom decorations.
A salad almost too pretty to eat.
The Proefplank, a selection of vegetables served on a board.
Why not roast a marshmallow by the fire?
Chickens wander the gardens outside.
Being away the last two weekends, one of the things I was looking forward to was receiving a crate from de krat Saturday morning. Once again, this week’s offering didn’t fail to delight with apple berry juice, fresh bread, an assortment of cherry tomatoes, fresh spinach, a head of lettuce, fava beans, chicory, peppers, red currant berries, Romanesco broccoli, flat-leaf parsley, a Thai chicken pot pie, and lamb sausage (I’m not a meat eater, so the last two items are for ze German).
Below is an afternoon snack that Marcus prepared of fava bean and pea puree with lemon, garlic, and olive oil in a chicory leaf. Yes, it was delicious.
On Saturday morning, we received the first box full of locally-produced, organic goods from De krat (The crate), which was stuffed full with leek, Chinese cabbage, paprika, chili peppers, tomatoes, squash, lettuce, beets, fresh baked bread, cherries, oregano- and chili-spiced sausage (not for me), and lemon-flavored mayonnaise from The Bio Bandits.
I had been thinking about signing up for a box from Odin, which has a pick up point around the corner from my apartment, but when I heard about de krat I was instantly sold. The boxes are filled with eight different types of fruits and vegetables (although I wish there had been more fruit in this one), as well as other products of the week like bread, milk, eggs, jam, nuts, or cheese. They also deliver free in Amsterdam and include recipes using the products of that week’s crate.
This unassuming vegetable has become an object of my fascination in the past weeks. About a month ago I tried a turnip for my first (!) time. Fresh and crisp with a hint of spice, I was sold. Not unlike my discovery of figs last year, I can’t quite explain how I had lived so long without having tasted this vegetable. At the end of the growing season here in Holland, I’ll enjoy it fully until the next time around (first image via, second image via).
Weekend Links is a collection of the interesting bits and pieces that I’ve come across on the streets and online. The weekly post is my chance to share with you a few things from the week, in a list compiled during the weekend. I hope you enjoy them as well.
A few things I enjoyed this week:
1. Seeing the winners of the annual World Press Photo contest http://bit.ly/gYoXnh
2. Listening to an NPR interview with Over the Rhine (pictured above), a band whose music brings back memories of a Boston winter and a corner room
3. Tasting Afghan food for the first time at Mantoe
4. Watching the Chinese New Year celebrations in this short video (via wearethedigitalkids)
5. Browsing the collection at La Rosa Curiosa, a little vintage clothing store that is quickly becoming a favorite in Amsterdam (pictured below, image via bheart)
6. Watching this video of the celebrations in Egypt
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Tagged Afghan, Amsterdam, Boston, food, La Rosa Curiosa, music, NPR, Over the Rhine, photography, restaurant, weekend links, World Press Photo
Last week a potential collaborator flew from Denmark for an all-day meeting at our office in Amsterdam. Lunchtime raised the topic of the Dutch tradition of broodjes, simple sandwiches, and how they compared with Danish smorrebrod. A Scandinavian colleague informed me that he believed smorrebrod would be the next global delicacy, along the lines of sushi.
Following this conversation, I was delighted to see an article about ‘butter bread’ on NPR. It reminds me a lot of the German tradition of bread with toppings that Marcus introduced me to, which we have dubbed ‘cheese bread’. We start with a hearty bread, toasted then buttered, and apply a mixture of ingredients, some favorites being goat cheese, mushroom and dill; brie and jam or sliced avocado and red pesto.
Photo by Lynda Balslev