I am getting ready for Christmas, are you? Personally I don’t want to worry about getting the exact quantity of specific root vegetable for my Christmas dinner right – I rather like using what I have. So here is a recipe which is adaptable to any root vegetable at your disposal for your Christmas dinner. It is a moreish alternative to roast veggies you might have previously served at Christmas. And if you have already ordered a vegetable festive box from Riverside Market Garden you should have exactly what you need to make this dish which will complement your turkey, goose, pork or other roast of choice beautifully. I strongly recommend using a sprinkle of the delicious dukkah condiment, the recipe of which you can also find on Lia’s Kitchen website here.
Ingredients (feed 4-6 as part of a Christmas or other roast dinner)
- 600g mixed root vegetable, coarsely chopped (use equal amounts of e.g. parsnip, carrot and Jerusalem artichokes or celeriac and or 200g of each)
- 3 leeks, coarsely chopped
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- ½ tsp ajwain/carom seeds or dried oregano (optional)
- 2 Tbsp. sesame seeds
- 1 tsp salt
- Olive oil
- 2 Tbsp Dukkah mixture (optional- see recipe here https://liaskitchen.com/2015/12/12/the-wonderful-dukkah-condiment/)
- Peel or wash the root vegetable well with a brush and coarsely chop it together with leek.
- If using celeriac and Jerusalem artichokes place these in a bowl of acidulated water to avoid them turning brown, i.e. water with some lemon juice or vinegar.
- In a baking tray pour enough olive oil to line its wide base.
- Stir fry the vegetable and leek for 5 minutes after adding the salt and thyme.
- Add the sesame, adjwein or oregano (optional) and stir to make sure all veg is coated well in the oil.
- Roast for 40 minutes in a medium oven (180 centigrade) until the veg is cooked enough to pierce with a fork but does not fall apart.
- Sprinkle with the Dukkah mixture generously once you have removed from the oven. If you do not want to add the Dukkah season to taste adding a couple of pinches of salt.
There is one thing you cannot do with celeriac, and that is to leave it out in the air once you peeled it because it quickly discolours. But if you put it in a bowl of water with a bit of lemon juice or white wine vinegar, whole, diced, sliced, chopped, grated or cut julienne it can wait for you to prepare great dishes in the kitchen.
The wonderful celeriac, a milder variety of celery, is extremely versatile and nutritious. Once you overcome the task of peeling, washing and immersing it in acidulated water you are half way there. You can almost do everything with the root of celeriac, be it a plain mash, creamed with salted butter and any spice of your choice for your roast or fish; a layered bake in white or red tomato sauces; a heart-warming soup; an alternative roast vegetable to parsnip or; a quick and simple stir fry with celeriac diced, chopped or grated. Its aroma is subtle but has enough depth so you don’t need to over spice or flavour it.
Celeriac makes a great accompaniment to beef, lamb, duck, white or smoked fish, scallops and loves bacon and spicy sausages, such as chorizo and merguez. It goes well with sage, dill, parsley and mint; and sits beautifully with milky and creamy sauces and dressings. You go as far as trying delicious (vegan) curries with coconut milk, fenugreek and turmeric if you are a spice explorer in the kitchen. Celeriac fritters work well as the vegetable takes other flavours on well; thin celeriac chips in tempura batter is a delicious beer snack, and recently when I was reading Nopi, the brand new Ottolenghi book, I came across one of the easiest ways to cook celeriac, after washing it well, trimming it, leaving the skin on and baking it for three hours in a medium hot oven! I kid you not, the possibilities are endless.
So when you come across the celeriac root in your October Riverside Market Garden Box (which of course I strongly recommend you order with no hesitation) don’t be phased by it. Start by chopping off its bottom root, and trim its hairy and nobly bits off fearlessly whilst peeling it with a small sharp knife or peeler of your choice. Use a vegetable brush to wash the mud and grit off well before immersing in acidulated water.
The two recipes below can start you off and are both are inspired by and use seasonal in my October Riverside Market Garden vegetable box. There is a quick salad and a soup suggestion rather different than the usual celeriac recipes you could google. Enjoy!
Riverside Garden raw celeriac and apple salad with Greek yoghurt remoulade dressing
Ingredients (4 portions)
- 200g celeriac, peeled in ribbons or cut julienne (small sticks)
- 1 red apple, sliced of cut julienne
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1 small bunch of mint, coarsely chopped
For the dressing
- 200g Greek yoghurt
- 1.5 teaspoons mustard or mustard powder
- 1 handful of capers, coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 big pinches of salt
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup or honey
- Trim, peel, brush and chop the celeriac.
- Place in acidulated water with either a squeeze of lemon or a tablespoon of white wine vinegar.
- Halve or quarter the apple, removing the core and chop or slice julienne.
- Mix the apple and celeriac and dress with the tablespoon of vinegar.
- To prepare the yoghurt remoulade mix the ingredients for the dressing and season to taste.
- Either mix the dressing on the ingredients or place on top, sprinkling it with the mint.
- 1 small celeriac is around 200g- don’t worry too much about accuracy measurement, you can use more or less than that in your salad.
- Gherkins are a fine replacement for capers.
- If you have ready-made piccalilli you can use that to flavour your yogurt dressing.
- This salad is delicious with toasted walnuts, smoked salmon or haddock, and roast lamb.
Riverside Garden Celeriac and Beetroot soup
Ingredients (4 portions)
- 200g celeriac, chopped
- 200g mixed beetroot, chopped
- 200g potato, chopped
- 100g red split lentils (optional)
- 1 leek
- 3 spring onions or half a dry onion
- 2 bay leaves (preferable but optional if you don’t have)
- A small bouquet of fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 litre vegetable stock
- Olive oil
- Salt to season
- Handful of finely chopped capers
- Apple slices
- Toasted cumin and caraway seeds
Preparation (45 minutes)
- Peel and chop all the vegetable, and follow the celeriac preparation tips as in previous recipe.
- Sauté the leek, onion and bay leaves (if you are using) in a bit of olive oil (2-3 tablespoons) with a pinch of salt until translucent.
- Add the chopped vegetable and lentils (if you are using).
- Stir fry for 5 minutes and coat well in the oil.
- Add the stock and thyme, and simmer for at least 30 minutes.
- Remove the bay leaves and thyme stacks (if you are using fresh thyme bouquet).
- Season to taste if needed.
- Cream with a hand blender if you prefer a creamy soup.
- Serve with a pinch of chopped capers, some sliced apple and a sprinkle of toasted cumin & caraway seeds.
- Don’t worry about exact weighting of vegetable. You roughly require 1/3 of each vegetable in equal amounts.
- I strongly recommend using of bay leaves but if you don’t have them thyme or other herbs will do fine.
- Blending the soup results in a nice consistent colour but you don’t have to.
- Use more cumin than caraway seeds. Caraway complements beetroot beautifully but can be overpowering. Sprinkle with caution.
- Pear is also delicious with this soup if you don’t fancy apple. It’s all in season anyway!