Thursday, 8 March 2018

Celeriac - it looks odd but tastes great


I was planning to bake a courgette bread this week for a friend who came for lunch. But then I realised that it’s not courgette season. I like to make the most of the seasonal vegetables as they optimize the flavour. It is also better for the environment and local producers. I had a chance to go to my local farmer’s market this weekend and chose celeriac, the unusual bulbous-looking vegetable. A relative of celery, also called celery root, it has more of a nutty and creamy flavour.

I wanted to try to make something new with it, instead of soups, mash, or simply roasting. I decided to go for a simple celeriac version of potato galette (Pommes Anna). A no-fuss dish, with only a few ingredients. Just the way I like: simplicity is what I want to achieve more and more with my cooking.

I served it with some sautéed greens, farro salad and some slices of chicken. 


the unusual look of celeriac.
The roots.
The sliced celeriac.
Mixture of olive oil, butter, salt and pepper to pour over.
With tossed herbs.
Ready to bake for about 40-45 minutes.
My celeriac galette.

Celeriac galette style

Ingredients

1 large celeriac
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
50g organic unsalted butter
Maldon sea-salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 Tablespoon fresh thyme, leaves picked
1 Tablespoon fresh oregano, roughly chopped
1/2 cup water


Method

 
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Slice the celeriac thinly - you can use a Japanese mandoline to make it easier. Place the slices in a mixing bowl and set aside.


Melt butter with the olive oil in a heavy bottom pan over medium heat, season with sea salt, black pepper and herbs. Pour the oil mixture over the sliced celeriac and toss. Place the celeriac in the oiled pan, overlapping the slices tightly and in layers. Add ½ cup of water. Bake until the celeriac is golden and tender, about 40-45 minutes.


Remove the pan from the oven and carry on cooking the galette on the stove to reach crispness. Cook it over high heat until you can see the edges and the bottom reaching a golden colour. It might take about 5-7 minutes (this timing may change depending on the size of your pan or the number of layers). Let it cool for about 10 minutes. 


Using a spatula, loosen carefully the edges of the galette. Turn it upside down onto a wooden board or a plate. If any celeriac slices stick to the pan just place it back on the top of the galette.  


 To finish the dish, sprinkle some fresh thyme and oregano over it.

A healthy note: Celeriac (Apium graveolens rapaceum) helps to maintain a healthy digestive system due to its high dietary fibre content. It’s a mild diuretic, and according to ayurvedic medicine it has warming properties. Celeriac is an excellent source of vitamins A, C, K, and the mineral potassium.

Till next week!
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