With a delicate celery taste, celeriac (pronounced sell-air-e-ak) is a rather unattractive root vegetable which is a delicious addition to winter meals. Also known as celery root it is a variety of celery which is cultivated for its root. Bulbs vary in size from small to very large.
Celeriac can be eaten cooked or raw and is a good source of fibre, vitamin C and folate, as well as having small amounts of other vitamins, potassium, iron and calcium.
Availability: Late autumn to early spring
Goes with: apples; blue cheese; chicken; fish; game birds; ham; olives; and potatoes.
SELECTING, STORING, PREPARING & USING CELERIAC
Selection: Choose bulbs which are firm and feel heavy for their size. Avoid those that are wrinkled or discoloured.
Preparing: Cut a slice from the top and bottom of each bulb. Place on a board, then using a sharp knife remove the tough outer skin by cutting in the curve from top to bottom of bulb. Rinse, and if needing to keep for more than a few minutes, place in acidulated water to prevent browning.
Storing: Celeriac will keep for 3-4 months if stored correctly, store in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator.
Using: Celeriac can be baked, boiled, braised, microwaved, roasted, steamed, stir-fried, add to stews and casseroles or eaten raw as a salad.
Celeriac Mash: This is one of simplest ways to cook celeriac, serve instead of mashed potatoes. Peel and dice bulbs. Place in cold, salted water and bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Drain, add butter and milk or cream and mash. Note: you do not need as much butter and milk as you need for potatoes as when cooked celeriac is quite moist. For a more substantial mash, cook with potatoes to make a celeriac and potato mash.
Recipes using Celeriac