Sunday, November 4, 2012

Celeriac + Lemon and Parmesan

  • Go to the market and buy the ugliest vegetable you can find. 
  • If, when you get home, you discover it is not a celeriac, go back out and buy a celeriac.
  • Cut off its gnarly bottom and discard.
  • Slice the skin off. It is now both naked and ugly. Congratulations, you have successfully humiliated a root vegetable.
  • Chop it into pieces, and roast at 220°C with some peeled potato, all smothered in olive oil, salt and pepper.
  • When tender, gently fry some onion and garlic in a saucepan with the lid on. Oil or butter, you choose. 
  • After five minutes or so, add the potatoes and celeriac, and enough vegetable stock to undercover them (i.e. not quite cover).
  • When it comes to the boil, whiz it with some cream and lemon juice - I used half a lemon, but added it gradually. See what you like.
  • Serve with grated Parmesan.

What did it taste like? Well, celeriac tastes like celery. And I am not a fan of celery. But apparently that's got more to do with texture than flavour because I thoroughly enjoyed this soup. The lemon is a magical companion to the rootiness of this vegetable, elevating it to a point where I became so enamoured with its citrusy powers that I nearly rubbed my whole body in it and squeezed it into my eyes. Happily I resisted this temptation and continued with the recipe. PS The lemon and Parmesan combination reminded me of eating risotto.

  1. To peel your celeriac, place it on its now-flat bottom and slice from the top down and around. Turn the vegetable and continue. You will lose some of the vegetable to this method (but it is preferable to hacking at it uselessy with a vegetable peeler and risking flesh divots in your hands). You could use the peelings in a vegetable stock if you are feeling frugal (but in this case, make sure you washed it well before peeling).
  2. If you fancy something different, save some celeriac, cut into slices, then into matchsticks and roast in a very hot oven with garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper, turning ocassionally. When they resemble chips, serve with mayonnaise, and eat alone in the kitchen.

1 comment:

  1. Haven't made it yet but will certainly give it a go . . . if only because you made me laugh at the poor celariac! It can't help being the ugliest root veg on the market. I love the idea of making garlicky frits with the unused bits.