Blooming Glen Farm | Celeriac Three Ways
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Celeriac Three Ways

Celeriac Three Ways

The knobby warty exterior of celeriac, also called celery root, hides a delightful interior. Peel away the rough skin and inside is the smooth ivory flesh, a wonderful aromatic alternative to starchy potatoes. Celeriac is one of those vegetables that can seem intimidating, but after some experimentation it will quickly become a versatile favorite in your kitchen.

Though celeriac will keep for many months in your refrigerator, and up to 6 months in the right root cellar conditions, hopefully you will be inspired to use it sooner. This first idea, because it really is more an idea than a recipe, utilizes celeriac in its raw state. Thanks to nutrition coach Patti Lombardi, who taught a class here at the farm All About Greens, this is quickly on its way to becoming a lunchtime staple in our house!

Spicy Green Wraps

First take one large flour tortilla– I used the biggest ones I could find at Whole Foods- “All Natural Roll-Ups made with whole wheat flour“. Next, decide what you want to use as the “glue”. Patti suggested organic refried pinto beans– spread evenly over the tortilla, and for a little added flavor and spice, a bit of spicy black bean dip (or salsa if you prefer). Hummus would be another idea.

After painting on the “glue”, roughly chop 1/2 a bunch of arugula and pile it down the middle of the tortilla. (You can also experiment with lettuce or kale, always putting the softer greens down first onto the tortilla).

Next comes the crunch- add some finely chopped cabbage. Grate 1/3  of a celeriac, spread on top of the cabbage. Add three grated french breakfast radishes on top of that, and some thinly slivered fennel. I happened to have some ripe avocado, so that went into the mix. Lightly season with sea salt and squeeze a bit of lemon wedge on top.

Then it’s time to wrap it up. Lift the side of the tortilla closest to you (the edge at the bottom of the photo on the top right). Roll away from you into a big tube, using your fingers to press the greens under the wrap and your thumbs to keep the wrap rolling, pressing down tightly as you roll. Don’t worry if you rip it on your first try (I did), but my second one came out perfect. Cut in half (serves 2).

*In the class Patti held here at the farm, her version contained sweet peppers and grated carrot (no radishes), which was a bit sweeter. The great thing about these wraps is you can adjust to your taste, and use whatever happens to be in the share that week. You could also add chicken or turkey if you desire.

Simple Celeriac Saute

A lot of recipes with celeriac have you partnering it with potatoes in a mash, roasting it with other assorted root vegetables, or adding it to a soup. In this simple stove-top dish, celeriac plays the starring role. Lightly seasoned, the flavor of the celeriac shines through, making for a wonderful side dish. I also imagine it would be great on top of lentils.

Using a paring knife carefully off the rough exterior of one celeriac. Cut into 1/2-inch cubes. Over high heat, put a few tablespoons of olive oil in a large saute pan. Add the cubed celeriac, a handful of thyme leaves, and 2 cloves finely chopped garlic. Season with sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Stir to coat and fry for about 5 minutes. Turn down to a simmer and add 3-4 tablespoons water or stock– I used 3 cubes homemade chicken stock I’d frozen in ice cube trays.  Place a lid on top and cook for around 25 minutes, until tender. You can leave in the celeriac in cubes or smash it a little (somewhere in between a cube and a mash). (*Recipe courtesy of JamieOliver.com)

Celeriac Gratin

So far we’ve done celeriac raw and a simple seasoned stove-top celeriac saute. Now let’s do an indulgent comfort dish, sure to please any picky eaters in your family.

Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees. Butter a 1 1/2 quart gratin dish, or large deep dish pie plate. Scatter 4 thinly sliced shallots over the bottom of the dish. Take two large peeled celeriacs, cut in half, then cut each half into 1/4-inch thick slices, and julienne. Arrange evenly in gratin dish. Sprinkle 2 sprigs thyme leaves over celeriac.

In a small bowl, whisk together 1 cup heavy cream, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, dash of nutmeg, and salt and pepper. Pour over celeriac. Sprinkle on top 3/4 cup grated Gruyere cheese and 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil and bake 20 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking until top is brown and bubbly and cream is thickened and reduced, about 20-30 more minutes. Let cool 10 minutes and serve. (*Recipe from MarthaStewart.com)

Photos and text by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner.

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