Celeriac

Celeriac looks mysterious and somewhat intimidating but is remarkably simple to prepare and has a delicate taste which suggests the flavours of celery and parsley with a slight nuttiness.  It's unique flavour is very refreshing even when raw.  While Celeriac is a type of celery it is grown as a root vegetable.  Celeriac is a good source of vitamin C.

Storage: Celeriac refrigerated in a plastic bag (unsealed) can be kept for 2 to 3 weeks.

General Use: Trim leaves (if present) and root end.  Scrub well and cut off the skin quite thickly to remove any brown bits and the root channels in the base.  Drop cut pieces in water with a squeeze of lemon juice to prevent discolouration.  Celeriac is often eaten fresh as a salad vegetable but can also be cooked or used in soup or stews.  It can be dehydrated, pickled or frozen.

Raw: Grate or cut the celeriac into thin sticks for serving raw (blanch briefly in boiling water for a slightly softer, smoother texture).

Boiled: Boil cubes of celeriac for 15-20 minutes until tender.  Mash with potatoes and garlic, or other root vegetables.

Braised: Peel the celeriac and dice it into 1cm cubes.  Put a casserole-type pot on a high heat, add olive oil, then add the celeriac, fresh thyme, chopped garlic, sea salt and ground pepper.   Stir around to coat and fry for 5 minutes.  Turn the heat down to a simmer, add water or stock, place a lid on and cook for 25 minutes until tender.  Season to taste and stir around with a spoon to break up the celeriac.

Roasted: Preheat the oven to 175°C.  Slice the celeriac and put in baking try.  Sprinkle with curry powder and olive oil.  Roast for about 40 minutes until tender.

Baked: Cut the celeriac into slices and boil celeriac for a few minutes.  In a jug mix together flour, melted butter, milk and grated cheese.  Layer the celeriac and sauce in a casserole dish, cover with more grated cheese and bake in the oven until the topping is golden.