Friday, January 26, 2007

Celeriac - just in time!


Only two days left of this week to fulfil my resolution to post at least once a week!

So, before I'm off home for the weekend, I'm going to just quickly tell you about a gem of a salad we created a couple of days ago, after a wintery amble around the slightly eerie late-afternoon lit Wimbledon Common.
The humble celeriac has already been seen over at the magnificent Orangette having its praises sung, so it may be blushing with pride after I chip in my admiring two cents.

Yes it's an ugly lump of a vegetable, and sure, there are those that will screw up their faces at the very thought, but for those of us for whom neither its rooty bulbous nature or its sweet, strong celery-nut taste is a turn-off, it's quite a treat when it turns up at winter time; an interesting specimen to play with.

It just so happened that our particular celeriac was sitting there, awaiting its time to be cooked and eaten at just the same time some green beans were threatening to go off in the fridge, oranges were stacked high in the fruit bowl and chicory bulbs peeked out from the shelves. Chicory and orange is a classic combination in my family's repertoire of salads, and remembering a recipe I'd seen recently for a green bean and roasted squash salad, I imagined the celeriac playing the squash's role to perfection.

And lo! A gorgeous winter salad. Warming and refreshing. Light and filling. Adaptable to many different fridge situations. Super!

Winter Salad of Celeriac, Chicory and Orange

1/2 medium celeriac - peeled and cubed (about 1.5 cm x 1.5cm)
1 tsp each salt, black pepper, sugar
a splash of olive oil
2 heads chicory
2 oranges
a handful of green beans
juice of half a lemon
wholegrain mustard

Mix the celeriac cubes with the oil and seasoning and place in a roasting tray in a preheated oven at about 180C for about 40 minutes. At regular intervals give the tray a little shake to stop it sticking.

Meanwhile slice the chicory lengthwise or into rings, as you prefer, and segment the orange, reserving the juice for later.

Steam the beans until just tender and drain - run cold water over to keep their greenness.

Prepare the chicory, orange and beans on a plate and scatter over the roasted celeriac

Mix the orange juice, lemon juice, some olive oil and mustard to form a vinaigrette and dress.

Voila!

(Suggested additions - feta cheese, walnuts, toasted seeds, parmesan, red onion - experiment... )
NB - pre-salad walk under gloomy skies, past bare trees full of big black birds - optional!...

1 comment:

Little Sister Saucepan said...

I made a yummy celeriac mash the other day. Half and half celeriac and potato. Boil in separate pots until soft, combine in one pot with olive oil lots of pepper and salt and some butter and mash. I always like hand mash as the little lumpy bits make it more exciting.
We had it with pheasant and the yummiest spiced appley red cabbage. Mmmmmmmm