Season: Best through the winter months.
Celeriac, at first sight, is probably the ugliest, most uninteresting-looking vegetable there is, but there is a hidden agenda here, for underneath the spiny roots and ugly skin is a soft, velvety flesh that, when mashed, has the creaminess of potato with the added subtle flavour of celery. But that’s not all: celeriac is excellent roasted in the oven and also raw in a salad, cut into tiny julienne matchstick strips and served with a creamy dressing.
To prepare celeriac, first of all, have no fear in paring off the skin really thickly. What you need to do is peel off enough to leave behind only the creamy-white flesh, with no brown bits left behind. Because the root channels are interwoven into the base of the bulb you will need to cut all this away, so it’s always useful to remember only three-quarters of what you buy can be used. Cut the rest into chunks and, as you do so, pop them in some cold salted water to prevent discolouring.
Now you can either dry them well and roast them (see Oven-roasted Winter Vegetables below), or boil them and combine them with equal quantities of boiled potatoes and mash.
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