As the swollen, edible root of a celery relative, celeriac has long struggled to achieve a strong following. Although not the most visually appealing vegetable, celeriac has a subtle yet creamy celery flavour making it the ideal addition to stews and soups. Roasted, boiled, mashed or simply eaten raw, celeriac has great earthy flavours that match woody herbs and nuts perfectly.
Seasonal period: September to April
Flavour friends: Celeriac boasts a warming and aromatic flavour with distinct anise tendencies making white fish the perfect flavour balance. Its creamy characteristics also makes it a great match for potato, particularly when pureed or mashed, and is often enhanced by the woodland flavours of truffle. These earthy flavours are also intensified when paired with woody herbs such as thyme as well as walnuts.
Buying, storing and preparing: Choose a celeriac that appears firm and heavy with little in the way of discolouration or mottling. Simply store in a paper bag in the fridge for up to two weeks. To prepare, top and tail the celeriac removing any leaves and roots before carefully peeling the thick skin. Grate or cube with a sturdy knife ready for cooking. Once prepared submerge in water with a squeeze of lemon to avoid discolouration.
Cooking: Simply boil in salted water or roast with salt, pepper and a splash of oil. Boil: 20 minutes. Roast: 40 minutes.
Words by Helen Upshall