Cooking celeriac isn’t easy. In fact, just looking directly at celeriac can be quite intimidating. Where do you cut it? Does it need peeling? Parboil before baking?
My first experience with celeriac was a few years back, trying to cook a healthy dinner with a friend. It was the first time I’d ever seen one and like most of us, I had no idea. Where do you even start? Long story short, we never really worked out how to cook the celeriac because my friend cut her finger open trying to peel it. So, I’ve been put off ever since.
However, a few years down the line I’ve come to terms with the fact that I can’t escape celeriac any longer. It’s in season and it is such a versatile root vegetable that can be used in so many ways. It’s time to face up to my fears.
Don’t: Just start peeling
Before you jump straight into it, you need to prepare the celeriac, and do it safely. As you can see from above, there may be consequences if not.
Begin by cutting the top and the base of the celeriac off using a sharp knife. Then you have a stable base to cut the rest of the skin off. Just be sure not to take too much flesh. It’s best to use a sharp knife rather than a peeler for this process as there are many bumpy excess parts of a celeriac. This means it could be a bumpy ride.
Now you’ve removed the skin, you can begin to chop the celeriac to your desired shape.
Do: Mash it
If it makes things easier, pretend it’s a potato. Celeriac can be cooked in many of the same ways that a potato can, including mashing. If you are looking for a way to add more variety to your diet, swapping your mashed potato for mashed celeriac is a pretty easy way to go about it.
Chop your celeriac into small cubes and place in a pan. Cover the celeriac with water and add a sprinkle of salt. Boil for 10-15 minutes until the celeriac becomes soft and easy to mash. From here you can go to town with your ingredients, use butter and cream for a truly creamy celeriac mash. The possibilities are endless! Cheese, chives, spring onion, bacon, tailor the celeriac to suit your taste buds.
Find this Creamy Potato and Celeriac soup recipe here!
Don’t: Cook it
If on the other hand, you are looking for a lighter dish, then definitely don’t cook celeriac. Although with many root vegetables it’s best to cook them, this isn’t always the case with celeriac.
Raw, celeriac has a fantastic crunch with a nutty flavour, therefore it is perfect for a salad or slaw. This nutty taste is lost when cooking. So, if you’re looking for something more refreshing, and to add texture, use celeriac in a salad, it pairs well with apple and carrots.
You’ve got the tools and the knowledge you need to finally take the steps towards buying celeriac and actually using it. Go forth and cook, or don’t cook a fantastic celeriac recipe.