Celeriac? What’s that? I confess, the first time I saw one, I was completely baffled by this brown, rough sphere with tendrilly roots still attached. Approximately the size of a large grapefruit, it was kind of intimidating, reminding me of a creature from Doctor Who. But now we are friends! Do not judge a vegetable by its cover. Why should you get to know it? Well, celeriac has a very mild celery flavor and is crisp when raw, and creamy and soft when cooked. It is much lower in calories than potato – 42 calories per 100 grams, versus 322 calories per 100 grams for potato, but when you roast it, you feel as if you are enjoying a very large, slightly celery flavored baked potato, with a creamy interior and crispy skin. Prep is extremely quick, but roasting it takes a while, so make it on a Sunday afternoon and enjoy the delicious aroma wafting through your home. This got two thumbs up from my husband!
The first time I ever made celeriac, I made a raw slaw by peeling and grating it. It was a very nice slaw, but kind of fussy to make. So imagine my glee when I happened upon this recipe for a whole roasted celeriac! You barely do anything to it. You just make it sort of presentable by trimming off any tendrilly or fuzzy bits, scrubbing it well, rubbing it with olive oil and salt, and bunging it in the oven for a couple of hours while you do something else. Like watching Doctor Who.
This recipe is from the most excellent Kitchen Matrix – the latest cookbook from Mark Bittman. It is the kind of book where I start making things from it before I’ve even finished looking through it. That’s how awesome it is.
- 1 celeriac (celery root)
- Olive oil
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Take your celeriac and trim off any tendrilly roots, fuzzy stuff, or crevices where soil might be trapped. Scrub it well.
- Rub olive oil all over the celeriac, and sprinkle it with sea salt. Place it in a small casserole dish (lightly oiled, or lined with parchment paper) and roast for about 2 hours, or until soft when pierced with a paring knife. Slice into wedges, and drizzle with more olive oil, some of your favorite sea salt (flaky or smoked is nice!) and freshly ground pepper. Enjoy!