I went to a friend’s place for lunch recently, unaware that their veggie garden had been exploding with a knobbly, ivory-coloured root throughout the autumn and winter months.
Before that day, I am ashamed to say I had never eaten celeriac. How my life was about to change!
The menu consisted of celeriac for entree,celeriac for main and celeriac for dessert. Boring perhaps? Not at all! Credit to my friends, who are extremely inventive in the kitchen, each dish left me wanting more.
Given this produce is a staple of French cuisine, celeriac remoulade kicked off the gourmet spread, served with a bowl of fat olives, fresh bread and thin slices of ham.
Just peel then shred celeriac, tossing it immediately into lemon juice to avoid discolouring (which can happen when the flesh makes contact with air, however flavour does not change).
Mix together mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, crème fraîche and finely chopped parsley. My friends even added a dash of maple syrup.
Fold into the shredded celeriac. This is a truly addictive classic winter salad.
The main meal consisted of roast lamb with potato and celeriac puree, (not to mention celery leaves added to the salad) and for dessert... drum roll please – the simple is best analogy came into play. I thought blue cheese and apple were heaven, but throw some raw celeriac into the mix and you’ll never produce a cheese platter without it.
Often I hear people say the white flesh tastes like radish, however I think the bulbous root-like vegetable (that actually belongs to the parsley family), has more of a delicate celery flavour – really not that surprising!
I found this wonderful Batavia lettuce salad with roast beef, horseradish and celeriac that you could try!
So experiment with celeriac (like my friends) and let me know what you come up with. I’m off to attempt a celeriac and apple crumble... wish me luck!
Enjoy your salads - Louise