I moved to Denmark. It's a good excuse.
Cooking for one. I'm not used to it. I keep finding my fridge chock-full of vegetables, of fruits, of seafood. But oh, what a joy to be shopping for food in Denmark: the quality, the variety, the entire experience are a world away from Eastern Europe. My fishmonger – Havnens Fiskehus – is a short walk from my flat, across campus and through a park-like cemetery to the sea. Small fishing boats, seagulls, looming port cranes, and a bustling shop offering sushi-quality salmon and tuna, shellfish galore (scampi, scallops, clams, oysters, mussels, and various as of yet unidentified varieties), roe, regular fish from here to Timbuktu, gravlax, smoked fishes and herring. It is wonderful.
This dish, however, has nothing to do with the sea. It's a terrific way of using up odds and ends of vegetables. Practically anything can be used – in the photo, there are carrots, celery (plus leaves), sweet potato and red beet (hence the hue); parsnips would also work well given their sweetness. Simply julienne vegetables, sauté them in butter until soft and releasing some sugars, and then pour in a little bit of wine or stock. Let them simmer while you cook up some pasta (linguini works well), and toss all together. Top with celery leaves and lemon zest.
It's an unconventional pasta sauce, for sure. The slight bitterness of vegetables, the hints of sweetness, the lingering crunch and the variety of tastes work together, though, and the dish is thoroughly satisfying and thoroughly different.
Quantities: you need approximately 1 cup of julienned vegetables per person.