This week all our bags have Celeriac (that funny knobbly thing you might be wondering about) which, as its name and appearance suggest, belongs to the Celery family. It has a mild nutty flavour and is much sweeter than Celery. It can be eaten both raw and cooked. Try roasting it in Olive Oil with Garlic and Thyme, adding it to soups, mash and purees or grated raw in salads with Vinaigrette or Mayonnaise. It will keep for a couple of weeks if you store it in a cool, dark place. When peeled and chopped it should be kept in acidulated water (ie. water with some Lemon juice) if you’re not using it immediatelty as it discolours.
It’s starting to turn wintry so I thought mash might be just the thing for this evening. This one goes really well with roasted meats and would also be lovely with some good sausages…
Peel the Celeriac and Spuds then cut them into chunks. Throw into a pot and cover with water. Bring to the boil, lower the heat then cook for a further 15 minutes. Drain well and mash adding a generous dash of Olive Oil and the juice of one Lemon.
For a veggie meal put the mash into single serve dishesand top with rounds of Goat’s Cheese then grill until golden. Serve with a simple salad.
Celeriac, as you might imagine, makes beautiful soup. This one is topped with crispy Pancetta (Italian Bacon) and Croutons which are a great contrast to the soup’s velvety texture.
Perfect for these cold evenings……..
Celeriac Soup with Crispy Pancetta and Croutons (for 2)
1 medium Onion
1 small Potato
2 cloves Garlic
400ml stock (chicken or veg)
50 ml double Cream
60 gr Pancetta or streaky Bacon
2 Tablespoons Croutons
Chop the Onion and begin to saute in a generous knob of Butter and a dash of Olive Oil (this stops the Butter burning) over a lowish heat while you get on with chopping the other veg. Peel and roughly chop the Celeriac, Potatoes and Garlic then add to the Onion and mix well. Season with Salt and Pepper then continue cooking until everything has softened (about 10 minutes)
Add the stock and bring everything to the boil then lower the heat and to a simmer and leave to cook for another 15 – 20 minutes or until the Celeraic is tender. Turn off the heat and liquidize until very smooth, check and correct the seasoning if necessary and finally stir in the cream.
To serve finely chop the Pancetta and fry in a drop of Olive Oil. When it’s starting to turn crispy throw in the Croutons and toss until golden.
Sprinkle on top of each serving and serve.
If you’d prefer something lighter, Celeraiac and Toasted Hazelnuts make a great autumn salad. Toasting the Haelnuts really brings up their lovely earthy flavour which is fab with the nuttiness of the Celeraic. If your Hazelnuts are unpeeled this process will help lift their skin off which you can then remove by rubbing the nuts between your palms. Toast them on a dry, unoiled frying pan over a medium heat for a couple of minutes, shaking the pan a couple of times to ensure they toast on all sides and don’t burn. When the skin starts to blister and they are changing colour take them off the heat and allow to cool before removing the skin as I suggest above. Don’t worry if it doesn’t all come off. Alternatively, you can buy them pretoasted in most health food shops.
Celeriac and Toasted Hazelnut Salad
400gr coarsely grated Celeriac
Coarsely chop your toasted Hazelnuts (you want chunks rather than little bits) then mix with the Celeriac. Dress the lot with 6 Tabelspoons Olive Oil, about 2 Tablespoons Lemon juice and a pinch of Salt.If you prepare this salad ahead of time, you may need to add a little more Lemon juice before serving it as the Lemon tends to lose its zing over time.
Cooking Apples are now in season as are Quinces both of which make fantastic crumbles. I’ll have them next week so let us know if you’d like some.
Hope you enjoy these recipes,
Have a great weekend,