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How to cook Celeriac

How to cook Celeriac



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Celeriac has super-tough skin that needs to be peeled off, and this is easiest to do with a small sharp knife.

There are loads of delicious ways to eat this characterful root vegetable – sliced thinly and baked in a creamy gratin, blitzed into a silky soup, mashed up with roasted garlic, or in a classic mustardy remoulade.

WHAT IS CELERIAC?

Although it might not be the most attractive veg in the world, celeriac more than makes up in taste what it lacks in appearances. It’s a root veg that’s hearty and substantial, and makes a brilliant choice for vegetarian comfort food. Try it mashed, chopped and roasted until sticky, or even roast whole. Yum!

WHEN IS CELERIAC IN SEASON?

Celeriac is in season from September to April.

HOW TO STORE CELERIAC

Celeriac should be stored in a cool, dark place.


What are the health benefits?

Celeriac is a source of potassium, which helps keep our blood pressure healthy. It's also a source of folate, which we need to make the red blood cells that transport oxygen around our body.


How to cook celeriac the easy way &ndash and the best way

Instead of spending days in laboratories trying to chemically extract and enhance vegetables and plants to taste and look like meat, I suggest we get back to the stove and learn to cook them as they are and appreciate the length of time they take to grow from seed to swede, or whatever it is we are eating at this time of year. Perhaps then they may taste as satisfying as the meat that many of us so desire.

Cooking celeriac, particularly the way I cook it, is akin to a class in Zen meditation, or at least a dose of a little mindfulness.

Two ways to to cook celeriac

First trim the bottom off your celeriac, so it can sit flat in a frying pan or roasting tray. Some chefs like to peel it at this stage, but I like the resulting organic shape when it’s not peeled.

Place some oil and butter in a frying pan. When the butter starts to foam, add the celeriac flat side down, into the pan. Add a few herbs, such as sage or rosemary.

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From this point, you can take it two ways: the easy way and the hard way.

The easy way will leave time for actual mindfulness. It involves placing the celeriac into the oven to roast. I usually check it every 10 minutes, basting it with foaming butter. You can also add a little reduced chicken stock, to create a rich glaze.

The hard way, which requires you to stand over the stove and baste the celeriac in the pan with the foaming butter, will have you tied to the cooker for at least an hour.

Some would argue that the two processes are the same, save that the latter hurts your back more. However, cooking the celeriac slowly in the pan, turning it so its edges catch the ever so gently burning butter, works very well. This technique, which we generally reserve for meat, is what brings the humble celeriac to divine heights.

The Maillard reaction, that complex process that occurs when we sear meat, can be achieved by cooking any vegetable in the same manner.


How NOT to Cook Celeriac (unless it’s in a soup!)

Cooking celeriac isn’t easy. In fact, just looking directly at celeriac can be quite intimidating. Where do you cut it? Does it need peeling? Parboil before baking?

My first experience with celeriac was a few years back, trying to cook a healthy dinner with a friend. It was the first time I’d ever seen one and like most of us, I had no idea. Where do you even start? Long story short, we never really worked out how to cook the celeriac because my friend cut her finger open trying to peel it. So, I’ve been put off ever since.

However, a few years down the line I’ve come to terms with the fact that I can’t escape celeriac any longer. It’s in season and it is such a versatile root vegetable that can be used in so many ways. It’s time to face up to my fears.

Don’t: Just start peeling

Before you jump straight into it, you need to prepare the celeriac, and do it safely. As you can see from above, there may be consequences if not.

Begin by cutting the top and the base of the celeriac off using a sharp knife. Then you have a stable base to cut the rest of the skin off. Just be sure not to take too much flesh. It’s best to use a sharp knife rather than a peeler for this process as there are many bumpy excess parts of a celeriac. This means it could be a bumpy ride.

Now you’ve removed the skin, you can begin to chop the celeriac to your desired shape.

If it makes things easier, pretend it’s a potato. Celeriac can be cooked in many of the same ways that a potato can, including mashing. If you are looking for a way to add more variety to your diet, swapping your mashed potato for mashed celeriac is a pretty easy way to go about it.

Chop your celeriac into small cubes and place in a pan. Cover the celeriac with water and add a sprinkle of salt. Boil for 10-15 minutes until the celeriac becomes soft and easy to mash. From here you can go to town with your ingredients, use butter and cream for a truly creamy celeriac mash. The possibilities are endless! Cheese, chives, spring onion, bacon, tailor the celeriac to suit your taste buds.

Find this Creamy Potato and Celeriac soup recipe here!

Don’t: Cook it

If on the other hand, you are looking for a lighter dish, then definitely don’t cook celeriac. Although with many root vegetables it’s best to cook them, this isn’t always the case with celeriac.

Raw, celeriac has a fantastic crunch with a nutty flavour, therefore it is perfect for a salad or slaw. This nutty taste is lost when cooking. So, if you’re looking for something more refreshing, and to add texture, use celeriac in a salad, it pairs well with apple and carrots.

You’ve got the tools and the knowledge you need to finally take the steps towards buying celeriac and actually using it. Go forth and cook, or don’t cook a fantastic celeriac recipe.

Eryn Barber

A personal trainer and content writer, with a background writing nutrition and fitness articles. Her main passion is anything and everything to do with food. She is a keen baker and loves writing about her experiences with food. Follow her work-outs on Instagram @erynbarber.


Recipe Summary

  • 1 celeriac (celery root), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • ⅓ cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons butter

Place the celeriac cubes into a large pot and cover with salted water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 12 minutes. Add the potatoes, and continue boiling until the vegetables are very tender, about 15 minutes more. Drain and allow to steam dry for a minute or two.

Return the vegetables to the pot, and stir over medium-high heat until liquid is no longer pooling from the vegetables. Remove from the heat, and pour in the cream and butter. Mash with a potato masher until almost smooth.


Salt-baked Celeriac Air Fryer Recipe

Salt-baking is a great way to cook both vegetables and meats whilst retaining their moisture. A simple paste of egg whites, salt and flour is wrapped around the food before baking it slowly at a moderate temperature - once cooked, the food is moist, tender and beautifully seasoned. Here, a whole celeriac (celery root) is baked along with a little fresh thyme and plenty of black pepper to create a hearty centrepiece of a dish, perfect alongside roasted game or simply served alone with a drizzle of truffle oil. The Secura Air Fryer is particularly adept at producing the perfect salt-baked celeriac.

Scrub the celeriac under cold running water using a firm-bristled brush to remove any dirt. Dry it well. There is no need to peel the celeriac.

Mix the remaining ingredients into a dough and knead it for 2 minutes until it becomes slightly elastic.

Roll out the dough to approx. ¼ inch thickness. Place the cleaned celeriac in the centre of the dough and mould it up and around the celeriac, completely sealing it inside the dough. Make sure there are no holes in the dough - if so, pich them to seal.

Place the wrapped celeriac in the air fryer basket and bake at 350°F (180°C) for 50 minutes.

Once baked, remove the celeriac from the air fryer, crack open the top of the salt crust and add a knob of butter or a drizzle of truffle oil and freshly ground black pepper.


What is Celeriac?

The name Celeriac might sound familiar – it is in the same family as the Celery plant. In fact, Celeriac is also called celery root and it is a great root vegetable to cook with!

Celeriac, or celery root as call it, is a large round root bulb that grows at the base of the celery plant. Celeriac you will find has a slightly nutty and light celery flavor.

As it's a root vegetable and is found throughout the autumn and winter the best time to pick it up is from September to April - check out what else is in season with our seasonal ingredients guides.


How to cook celeriac

Celeriac is a round, knobbly root vegetable about the size of a small melon. It is pale brown on the outside and cream-coloured inside. It sometimes comes with the leaves still attached, which look (and taste) like dark green celery . The heavier celeriac feels for its size, the fresher it is, so flex your muscles or bring a trolley to get it home – celeriac is delicious and worth picking up.

What does it taste like?

Celeriac has a fresh, nutty flavour that gets sweeter and more mellow when cooked. It’s a close relative of celery, parsnips and parsley, and that’s just what it tastes like – a mix of all three.

Is it good for me?

Celeriac is a good source of vitamins C and K. It contains antioxidants for general good health, and potassium, which can prevent and manage high blood pressure.

How do I prepare and store it?

Celeriac has really tough skin. Trim its top and bottom using a large sharp knife, then peel away the skin with a vegetable peeler or paring knife. It goes a little brown once cut, but you can put it in a bowl with water and lemon juice or vinegar if preparing ahead. Celeriac should keep well in your fridge for weeks, or you can cut it into cubes or slices and freeze uncooked.

How should I cook celeriac?

  • Grate it raw and make a slaw or classic ‘remoulade’ (a cold sauce with mayonnaise, lemon and mustard – swap the mayo for natural yogurt to be healthier)
  • Chop it up and roast it with other root veg (it will take about 40 minutes at gas 6/200ºC) or make oven chips
  • Cube and boil it for about 20 minutes till soft then mash or ‘smash’ – either on its own or with other veg like potatoes, parsnips or turnip
  • Dice and add to soups or stews
  • Roast it whole, like in this recipe: https://www.riverford.co.uk/recipes/whole-roasted-celeriac
  • If it comes with its leaves, you can use these in the same way you would with other greens – added to soup, stir fries or in homemade pesto.

This article was written by Anna who is a food writer based in south London. She is interested in healthy, happy eating and fairer food systems.


Celeriac Recipes

We’ve got lots of easy celeriac recipes to choose from including a celeriac potato gratin, healthy soup and a celeriac based slaw – perfect summer recipes! Celeriac is much easier to prepare and cook than you may think.

Hearty root and barley soup

Keep warm this winter with this simple and hearty root and barley soup recipe perfect for lunch or dinner. Serve with warm crusty bread and enjoy

Spiced celeriac and sweet potato bake

Spiced celeriac and sweet potato bake is a delicious dish that the whole family can enjoy. It's perfect for vegetarians too

Roasted root vegetable lasagne

As a change from meat, give this roasted root vegetable lasagne a try. It's a healthier way to get your family to eat some of their 5-a-day

Spring roots slaw

Spring roots slaw is a simple and delicious salad recipe that is perfect for serving at a BBQ with friends and family - its light and tasty too

Bacon, parsnip and celeriac soup

This delicious and extra flavoursome bacon, parsnip and celeriac soup is thick and tasty and perfect for lunch

Celeriac, cider and Stilton soup

Fancy a soup full of flavour? This celeriac, cider and Stilton soup made sound unusual but it tastes delicious and is perfect for lunch or as a starter

Potato and celeriac gratin

Layers of potato and celeriac in a creamy cheese sauce is the perfect side to any meal. Particularly delicious aside a roast dinner, this potato gratin is so simple to make

Pan-cooked celeriac and squash with thyme

This pan-cooked celeriac and squash with thyme recipe is a delicious veggie dish. It also makes the perfect accompaniment to fish or chicken dishes

Celeriac and smoked bacon dauphinoise

This celeriac and smoked bacon dauphinoise is a classic French recipe that makes a delicious side dish with roast chicken

Roasted vegetable salad with goat's cheese

Come and try our delicious recipe fro roasted vegetable salad with goat's cheese. Packed full of sweet and earthy flavours, this veggie salad is delicious

Lamb steaks with celeriac mash and spring ratatouille

Home cooking that looks and taste like restaurant meal. This griddled lamb, celeriac mash and ratatouille is an impressive meal to serve. It is easy and relatively quick to prepare

Root Mash

This is an easy and tasty root vegetable mash – a great accompaniment to your Christmas roast

Sophie Dahl's fish pie with celeriac mash

Sophie Dahl's brilliant fish pie with celeriac mash. Jamie Oliver says 'Sophie has a great style of cooking and recipes that you really want to eat'


Celeriac

A relative of Celery, Celeriac grows in North Africa, Siberia, Southwest Asia and North America. It is available in supermarkets all year round, but is in season from October to January. There are 8 main varieties of celeriac grown including Prinz, Alabaster, and Monarch.

Cooking Methods

Wash the celeriac thoroughly, peel and cube. Bring a large pan of water to the boil and add a squeeze of lemon juice. Once boiled, add the celeriac cubes to the water and allow to boil for 12-15 minutes until tender. Remove from the heat, drain thoroughly and serve.

Preheat the oven to 400F/200C/gas mark 6. Wash the celeriac thoroughly, peel and chop into wedges. Place the celeriac wedges into a bowl and cover with olive oil and any other desired seasoning. Spread on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and roast for 30-40 minutes, turning them once half way through. Once cooked they should be golden and very tender. Remove from the heat and serve.

Preheat the grill to a medium high heat. Wash the celeriac thoroughly, peel and cut into spears. Smother with olive oil. Place the celeriac under the preheated grill for approximately 20 minutes, until they lose their crunch and start to char on the edges. Turn occasionally to ensure an even cook. Remove from the heat and serve.

When frying celeriac, it is best to parboil first. Wash the celeriac thoroughly, peel and cube. Add to a large pan of boiling water, reduce to a simmer and allow to cook for 8 minutes, until they begin to soften. Drain well. Heat oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat and add the celeriac. Cook for 8-10 minutes, until golden and cooked through. Remove from the heat and serve.


How to Cook Celeriac: Tips and Tasty Celeriac Recipes

Celeriac is a root vegetable in the celery family. While historically popular in Northern Europe and Mediterranean countries, celeriac is nearly unheard of in kitchens across the United States – perhaps due to the fact that it is quite possibly the ugliest vegetable on the face of the planet. Yes, a dirty and knobby ball of roots, celeriac is definitely not a pretty veggie. However, peel away that knobby exterior and you have a wonderfully versatile vegetable suitable for use in all sorts of recipes including raw, shredded celeriac salad, boiled and mashed celeriac, puréed celeriac soup, roast celeriac, and even French fried celeriac!

When buying celeriac, you should select firm, small to medium-sized roots. The celeriac should have leaves that are green and are not wilted.

How to Store Celeriac

Celeriac can be stored for up to two weeks in the refrigerator. Remove the celeriac stalks and leaves and wrap the celery root loosely in plastic to keep it from drying out.

How to Prepare Celeriac

To prepare celeriac, peel the brown exterior from the celery root with a sharp paring knife (it will work better and is safer than a vegetable peeler). If you do not plan to cook the celeriac immediately, dipping the peeled celeriac in a solution of lemon juice and water (3 Tbsp. lemon juice to 1 quart water) will help to prevent it from becoming discolored.

Now that you know how to buy, store, and prepare celeriac, here are three celeriac recipes that highlight the versatility of this wonderful root vegetable…


Celeriac and Apple Slaw

This delicious salad is wonderfully simple to prepare and makes a great fall or winter side dish.

To prepare the Celeriac and Apple Slaw, you will need:

1 small celeriac root (about 1 ½ to 2 pounds)
1 green apple
1 red apple
1 stalk celery, very thinly sliced
1 small shallot, minced
1 Tbsp. fresh thyme, chopped
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. black pepper
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp. honey

To prepare the Celeriac and Apple Slaw…

In a small bowl, whisk together the shallot, thyme, salt, pepper, vinegar, olive oil, and honey. Set the dressing aside.

Slice the celery very thinly and place in a large bowl. Core and julienne the apples (do not peel) and add to the celery. Peel the celeriac and shred using a grater or mandolin. Add to the bowl and toss with the celery and apples.

Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat.


Roasted Celeriac Soup

This creamy, satisfying soup is perfect by itself or as an accompaniment to a larger meal. This is a warm, comforting celeriac recipe just right for a chilly day.

To make Roasted Celeriac Soup, you will need…

4 cups (about 1 ½ pounds) peeled and cubed celeriac
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 leek (white and light part only) chopped
1 potato, peeled and chopped
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
3 Tbsp. fresh Italian parsley
2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh tarragon
1/2 cup milk (heavy cream can be substituted for an extra rich and creamy soup)
Salt and pepper to taste

To prepare the Roasted Celeriac Soup…

Toss the cubed celeriac with 1 Tbsp. of the olive oil. Place in a roasting pan and roast at 350°F for 30 minutes, stirring after 15 minutes.

In a large saucepan, sauté the onion, garlic, celery, and leek in the remaining olive oil for approximately 5 minutes or until the onion starts to soften. Add the chopped potato, stock, thyme, tarragon and parsley bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat, and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the celeriac and simmer for another 10 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Remove from heat and allow the soup to cool slightly.

Purée the roasted celeriac soup in the saucepan until smooth using an immersion blender. (Alternatively, you can transfer the soup in batches to a food processor or blender to purée it, but this is messy, time-consuming, and you run the risk of splashing yourself with hot soup).

Add the milk or cream to the soup (transfer the soup back to the saucepan first if you used a food processor or blender to purée it). Season with salt and pepper and simmer until heated. Serve immediately.

Celeriac fries are a tasty twist on traditional French fries. They are a great choice for those watching their glucose, as celeriac has a much lower glycemic load than potatoes.

To prepare Celeriac French Fries, you will need…

3 small celeriac roots (about 5-6 pounds)
3 Tbsp. olive oil
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

To prepare the Celeriac French Fries…

Peel and slice the celeriac into thin “French fry-sized” sticks.

Fill a bowl with ice water and set aside.

Bring a pot of water to a boil and salt the water. Place the celeriac fries in the boiling water for 2 minutes in order to blanch them. Drain in a colander, and immediately plunge the celeriac fries in the bowl of ice water. Allow celeriac fries to cool for 10 minutes, then drain.

Place the celeriac fries in a bowl and toss with olive oil until the celeriac fries are completely coated with oil.

Spread the celeriac fries in a single layer on a baking tray covered with parchment paper. Sprinkle the celeriac fries with the sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place pan in the middle of the oven, and broil for 15-20 minutes until the celeriac fries are crispy and golden brown on the outside. In order to insure that they brown evenly, turn the celeriac French fries after about 10 minutes.


What Is Celeriac Exactly?

Essentially, celeriac is the root of a celery plant. However, it comes from a different varietal than the one commonly cultivated for its crisp green celery stalks.

Celeriac has a tough skin, but crisp white interior which oxidises easily, so soaking it in water or an acidic substance like lemon is recommended.

To peel: slice the ends off with a sharp knife and use a vegetable peeler to remove the skin.