Celeriac is a delicious root vegetable that is often neglected. If you want to try cooking with it but are not quite sure where to start, read on for full instructions on preparing celeriac, and a roundup of my favourite celeriac recipes.
How to prepare celeriac
We can all sometimes be put off by the idea of preparing unfamiliar vegetables, but this is nothing to worry about. The preparation is very similar for almost any celeriac or celery root recipe.
First wash the celeriac. Trim off the knotty root end, which can be hard to slice through.
Cut the celeriac into quarters with a heavy, sharp knife. This will make it more manageable as you peel it. I find it easiest to do this with a vegetable peeler, although you can use a sharp knife if you prefer.
Once peeled, you can then slice, chip, grate or cut your celeriac into chunks to suit the recipe. Easy!
Like potatoes, apples and many other foods, celeriac can discolour once you have peeled it. Start to cook your celeriac as quickly as possible.
If you have to delay for any reason, drop the peeled celeriac into a bowl of cold water with a little lemon juice, cider vinegar or white wine vinegar and store in the fridge. This will prevent it from turning grey or brown.
How to cook celeriac
You can cook celeriac much as you would treat any other root vegetable. It is less starchy and dense than potato, with a smoother, more velvety texture. This means does that it will not crisp up as much as potatoes when roasted or fried. You will still get a delicious and distinctive result, however.
Celeriac/celery root makes a great substitute for potato if you are trying to follow a low carb diet. The net carbs are low and it has plenty of flavour.
How to eat celeriac
Because it makes a great stand-in for the starchier, heavier potato, celeriac makes a great side dish. It’s good with gamey gravies and sauces, making a lighter and more interesting alternative to mash or plain fries. Never think, though, that it should be confined to that role!
Celeriac makes an unusual centrepiece for vegetarian dishes. It pairs especially well with cheese and cream sauces in bakes and gratins. The texture lends itself to particularly luxurious soups. It can be used to bulk up stews and casseroles too.
Celeriac can be harvested from mid autumn right through the winter. In the UK this tends to be late September to early April. They last well in the ground, developing a stronger flavour the longer they are left.
Unpeeled, unwashed and uncut, it will keep for up to two weeks in the fridge. Brush off any remaining soil but don’t wash it as this will reduce its shelf life.
Yes, you can. If your celeriac is still very fresh, you can eat them as you would celery, raw or in all sorts of recipes. They will taste very much like the celery that is bred for stems and leaf.
It’s probably better not to. Celeriac doesn’t freeze very well, as the texture tends to suffer.
Yes! It’s great in crunchy winter salads such as the classic remoulade.
Avoid serving celery root recipes to anyone with a celery allergy. The plants are too closely related and it is unlikely that your guest can tolerate them.
Celeriac soup recipes
Use celeriac to make gorgeous, velvety soups that are delicious for a warming, nourishing lunch or dressed up for a smart starter.
Celeriac is perfect in fresh, crunchy salads. Enjoy these raw celeriac recipes for lunch, on the side or as a stylish starter.
Celeriac side dish recipes
Bored with the routine spuds? Celeriac makes a great change from the usual side dishes and, unlike potatoes, counts as one of your five a day.
Celery root makes an unusual centrepiece but these dishes are not just for vegetarians! It combines well with cream and cheese, with or without an assortment of other veg.
Celeriac as an ingredient
Celeriac doesn’t have to be the star of the show. Celery root brings a subtle and interesting note to all sorts of dishes, so explore these recipes.
Celeriac for dessert!
Vegetables can be used to keep cakes light and nutritious. We’ve all come across carrot cake, courgette cake, and beetroot cake recipes, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that celeriac works in sweet recipes too.