By Karen Small
I was in a supermarket the other week and saw a supermarket celeriac. It was so clean. It was so pale and not at all grubby. I love celeriac; sweet and earthy and a little bit nutty. But the recipes where you put a whole celeriac in the oven just don’t suit the type of celeriac we get in our veg box. Ours tend to be caked in mud, and that’s okay. But I didn’t want to spend ages getting one clean in order to roast. So here’s a way to get that lovely whole roasted flavour but with the skin removed first. It really does look amazing – a bit like a steamed pudding and has a lovely sweet, sticky base so could easily make a centre piece for a meal, served with rice and steamed greens.
Serves 4-6 as a side dish, or two as a main. You’ll need tinfoil to bake. Use any mixture of fresh garden herbs or dried herbs that you have to hand (for example, fresh oregano or a dried Italian herb mix would work well – but not mint).
A few fresh sage leaves (optional, but not dried)
A sprig of fresh rosemary
Dried or fresh thyme or oregano
One tablespoon of oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Pre-heat oven to 180°C/ Gas4.
Using a sharp knife carefully cut off the gnarly base of the celeriac, and then the top. Then work your way around removing the skin in strips. The strips will be relatively thick in order to remove all of the outer skin, so that no green patches, or dark veins, are left on the surface.
Rinse the whole, peeled celeriac. Cut a piece of tinfoil big enough to fully wrap the celeriac. Place the celeriac in the centre of the foil and place the sage, rosemary and thyme on top. Drizzle on the oil and season with sea salt and black pepper. Wrap the foil tightly around the celeriac and place on a baking tray. Cook until the celeriac is completely soft to a knife being inserted (around 40 minutes depending on size).
Serve hot and slice at the table like a cake.