Seasonal local food recipe No.301 – Hugh’s celeriac with apple, raisin and parsley

celeriac-camel csa

This is from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall‘s book River Cottage Veg Every Day.  He recommends using a good, fresh, firm celeriac, ideally an early-season one.

Serves 4

Preparation time: 20 minutes

200g celeriac (peeled weight)
1 eating apple
50g raisins
a good handful of flat-leaf parsley

For the dressing
1 tsp English mustard
1 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp cider vinegar
2 Tbsp sunflower or rapeseed oil
2 Tbsp olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the dressing, shake all the ingredients together in a screw-topped jar to emulsify.  Tip into a bowl.

Cut the celeriac into matchstick-sized pieces.  The easiest way to do this is to use a mandolin, but you can use a large, sharp knife.  Transfer directly to the bowl of dressing and toss them in, so they don’t get a chance to brown.  Peel, quarter and thinly slice the apple and add to the salad with the raisins.  Taste and adjust the seasoning if you need to.

Serve straight away, or leave for an hour or so, which will allow the celeriac to soften slightly.  Toss in the roughly torn parsley leaves just before serving.

Seasonal local food recipe No.255 – Nigel’s celeriac and potato cake


This side dish from Nigel Slater’s classic Real Good Food. It’s delicious served with roast meat but can also be served as a main course on its own.

Serves: 4 as a side dish

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 30 minutes

500g waxy potatoes, peeled
a medium-sized celeriac, peeled
90 g butter
4 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
2 heaped tablespoons Dijon mustard
a level teaspoon of thyme leaves
60ml vegetable stock
a handful of dill leaves

Slice the potato and celeriac so thinly you can see through them.  Mix them together and soak in cold water. Melt the butter in a metal-handled, deep frying pan (one that can go in the oven) and when it starts to bubble add the garlic and cook slowly for five minutes, till it is soft and has perfumed the butter.  Take off the heat and stir in the mustard, thyme leaves and a grinding of salt and pepper.

Drain the potatoes and celeriac and dry them on kitchen paper.  Toss them in the mustard butter so that they are wet all over, then loosely flatten them and pour in the stock.

Cover with a circle of greaseproof paper, then bake in an oven preheated to 190°C/Gas mark 5 for an hour and ten minutes, until tender to the point of a knife.  Remove the greaseproof, turn up the heat to 220°C/Gas mark 7 and bake for a further ten minutes, until coloured and lightly crisp on top.  Tear the dill up a bit and scatter it over the top and into the juices.

Seasonal local recipe No 123: Three-root boulangère

With a selection of roots in our boxes this week – and with the weather getting colder – it seems a good idea to try this ‘comfort food’ recipe from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage Veg Every Day. He says that while it’s not exactly ‘light’, it’s certainly less rich than a creamy dauphinoise-style gratin.

You could also substitute other seasonal roots such as Jerusalem artichokes, carrots or swede which would all work well. Good served with some big flat field mushrooms simply baked with some butter, garlic and cheese, and some good bread.

Serves 4

Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking: about an hour

30g butter
2 onions, halved and sliced
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 small celeriac
2 large potatoes
3 large parsnips
a couple of sprigs of thyme, leaves only, chopped
3 sage leaves, finely chopped
about 1.2 litres vegetable stock
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven the 180C/gas 4. Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed frying pan and use some of it to grease a large gratin dish. Add the onions to the pan and sauté over a medium heat for about 10 minutes, until soft, then add the garlic and cook gently for a further minute or two.

Meanwhile, peel the celeriac, potatoes and parsnips and cut into slices the thickness of a 10p piece, slicing the parsnips lengthways. Spread out the celeriac in the gratin dish, season generously with salt and pepper, then sprinkle with half the onions and half the herbs. Layer the parsnips on top, then scatter the remaining onions and herbs on top and finish with a layer of potatoes.

Bring the stock to a simmer and add some salt and pepper, then pour over the vegetables to barely cover them (you may not need all of it). Cover the dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes, then uncover and continue to bake for another 30 minutes or so until the vegetables are cooked.

At this point, if there is still liquid covering the potatoes, spoon off a little and return the dish to the oven for 15 minutes or so, to brown the potatoes on the top. Serve piping hot.

Seasonal local food recipe No 69: A remoulade of celeriac and smoked bacon

celeriac-camel csa

Nigel Slater describes celeriac in his Tender cookbook: ‘Knobbly, whiskery and impenetrable, its roots curled round its feet like a viper’s nest, it poses something of a problem for the newcomer’. Thankfully he also gives this good recipe for a variation on the classic French remoulade. First off, though, you’ll have to ‘Brush off the encrusted soil, hack away at the thick, warty skin …’

Radish sprouts are sprouted seeds with a spicy heat. If you can’t get hold of them, you could sprout your own in a salad sprouter. Equally, you could use any sprouted seed.

Preparation/cooking: half an hour
Serves 2 as a light main course

for the dressing:
250ml crème fraîche
juice of half a lemon
2 tbsp grain mustard

for the salad:
large handful parsley leaves
about 500g celeriac
8 rashers smoked bacon
50g radish sprouts or mung bean sprouts

Mix the crème fraîche, lemon juice and mustard together and stir in a little salt and black pepper.

Roughly chop the parsley. Peel the celeriac and shred it coarsely. This is probably easiest with a food processor and coarse grater attachment. Grill the bacon until it is starting to crisp and the fat has turned gold, then cut it into pieces the size of a postage stamp. Stir the celeriac, radish sprouts, parsley, bacon and dressing together. Serve while the bacon is still hot.

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