I really wasn't sure about celeriac, the first few times I tried it. Not only does it look like it belongs on the compost heap, but it can taste really bitter, if you don't know how to cook it (which I didn't!).
But after quite a lot of experimenting, I now actually look forward to it arriving in my veg box.
I've discovered you can roast celeriac, mash it, turn it into celeriac soup and even use it in salads. (And I'm sure there are many more uses - if you've got one, please send us your celeriac recipe - thank you!)
The key is to peel it and slice it just before using, or it turns brown quickly. And, if you're boiling it, adding it straight to boiling water, rather than cold, helps to reduce the bitterness. Don't ask me why - I don't know, it just does!
Choose celeriac roots that are firm and medium-sized, if you can. If they get too large, they can get woody.
If the leaves are still attached, these should look fresh and green. If they're wilted and nasty-looking, then your celeriac is already old.
Store celeriac with the leaves removed (they can be good in salads or soups). Store in a cool, dark place for a week or so.
- Knowing how to prepare celeriac makes all the difference to its taste.
The root should be peeled before using, but don't peel it too much, as many of the nutrients lie just below the skin. Cut it into cubes and boil for about 10 minutes, until soft. Some prefer to salt the water, first.
You can also eat the leaves. Just chop them in a salad for a gentle, celery taste.
Peel and slice it just before cooking, as it quickly discolours. Sprinkling with lemon juice can help it keep its white colour, but obviously impacts the taste!
Always add celeriac straight to boiling water and bring back to the boil, rather than adding it to cold water and heating up. This seems to make it less bitter and reduces the pungency of the flavour.
For soups, you might prefer to boil the celeriac for a few minutes and then discard the water, before adding the celeriac to the other vegetables. This can help reduce bitterness.
If you want to use celeriac "raw", shredded in a salad, it's worth putting it in boiling water for 1 minute first and then plunging into cold water, to reduce the bitterness.
More Celeriac InformationWhat is celeriac? It's an autumn / winter root crop, which is quite pungent and can be bitter, if not cooked properly, but has a great ability to absorb flavours, for example in soups and stews.
It is related to celery, but liking celery doesn't guarantee you'll like celeriac and hating celery doesn't mean you won't like celeriac!
It is thought that celeriac didn't make it to the UK until the 18th century, but even now its a little-known veggie and most of us don't know what to do with it...
Did you know...?
Celeriac is one of the most likely veg box veggies to end up in the compost bin...
Celeriac is high in vitamin C, as well as calcium and potassium, which helps you absorb the calcium. So it's worth tucking in, if you find a recipe you like.
|The flavour of this soup is subtle, but it gives you a chance to enjoy the celeriac, rather than masking its flavour.|
About 45 minutes
- Beetroot and Celeriac Gratin
This recipe for beetroot and celeriac gratin is on test - but still available for you to try. Why not give it a go?
- Carrot And Celeriac Soup
The sweetness of sauted carrots and onions balance the pungence of the celeriac in this carrot and celeriac soup recipe. The coriander leaves give the finished soup a real lift, turning it into a filling autumn or winter treat.
- Celeriac and Apple Bake
Celeriac can be a much-misunderstood vegetable.
Not only does it look, quite frankly, odd, but if you chop it and boil it, it looks just like potato, which can give the unsuspecting a bit of a taste shock!
This recipe uses a delicious combination of celeriac with apple, to create a sweet, warming winter bake. It's a great way of introducing celeriac to fussy eaters or just those who fancy a change.
- Celeriac Soup
The flavour of this soup is subtle, but it gives you a chance to enjoy the celeriac, rather than masking its flavour.
- Denise Tolson's Bramley, Cox and Celeriac Dish
This recipe was provided to us by Denise Tolson (of Jerusalem Artichoke fame!). She got it from her mum. We love it because it uses not one but TWO types of apple, and unlike our other celeriac and apple recipe, this one is really quite luxurious. Enjoy!
Thanks to The Bramley Apple Information Service for the photo.
- Lorna's Celeriac and Mustard Sauce
This recipe was kindly provided for us by Crown Hill Vegbox customer Lorna. Lorna tells us that this really simple side-dish has quite a bite and is a great way to use celeriac without resorting to soup all the time.
- Mushroom And Winter Veg Pie
This is a real winter warming treat. The flavour from the mushrooms makes the dish, so it’s important to get a variety of them, with strong flavours – no button mushrooms here, thank you…
- Potato & Garlic Celeriac Mash
Using celeriac with the potatoes makes a nice change from 'just' mashed spud. Celeriac is a useful source of winter vitamins and minerals and the garlic is a known immune system booster. This is a lovely side dish, if you fancy trying something a little different.
- Pureed Swede With Cheesy Crust
Many people are put off by childhood memories of swede – often confused with turnip. Yet its yellow-orange flesh can be delicious. This recipe tops pureed swede with a crunchy cheese and seed crust, to add some variety and extra vitamins. Also works well with turnip, parsnip or celeriac.
- Root Vegetable 'Crumble' with Cheesy Topping
This is a delicious recipe for baby or Chantenay carrots and other roots veggies. The secret ingredient gives it a warming kick. Make the most of your turnips, swedes, parsnips and sweet potatoes. You can also use celeriac or kohlrabi.
- Winter Coleslaw
Got one? Send us your recipe!
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