Christine McFadden, The Dorset Foodie, gives us the lowdown on celeriac as a seasonal vegetable:
With its tangle of roots and pockmarked beige skin, celeriac isn’t the most attractive vegetable. That said, it’s an unsung hero – versatile, delicious, easy to cook – and a go-to when you want the fresh flavour of celery along with the starchy comfort of potato. As the name suggests, celeriac is related to celery but grown for the root rather than the stem.
October – April
Buying and storing
Choose firm heavy roots without blemishes. Store in a cool dark place for a week or more, wrapped in cling film, or, better still, a brown paper bag.
Slice into quarters then trim away the skin and root. Cut the flesh into chunks or cubes as per your recipe. To prevent browning, dump in a bowl of water acidulated with lemon juice. If using celeriac raw in a salad, stir straight into the dressing.
Celeriac is excellent steamed or boiled, then puréed with butter or cream, plus nutmeg and seasoning. Perfect with juicy sausages or fatty meat. Another option is to add a few chunks to a hearty beef or venison casserole. It adds texture and refreshing flavour. Celeriac makes a deeply satisfying soup too – top with a swirl of soured cream, fresh dill and a sprinkle of chopped toasted hazelnuts. Finely grated, the raw flesh is lovely added to winter salads or mixed with a mustardy mayonnaise to make celeriac rémoulade.
Roasted celeriac is another winner. Toss smallish chunks with olive oil, sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, and maybe some cumin or dill seeds. Spread out in a single layer in a shallow roasting tin. Roast at 200C/gas mark 6 for about 30 mins until deliciously crisp around the edges.
Pair Celeriac With…
Apples, beef, cabbage, cumin, dill, duck, goose, ham, horseradish, lemon, mustard, nutmeg, sausages, venison.