I love celeriac or celery root because of its fresh, anis-like flavour. Raw, it can be grated into a slaw, dressed with creamy dressing and incorporated into a refreshing, powerful salad. Cooking celeriac tones the anis flavour down and brings out the sweetness of the root, turning it such a great vegetable side-dish. This celeriac purée recipe is as easy as can be and could be used a base for celeriac soup: all you would have to do is to add chicken or vegetable stock to thin it out, whiz it et voilà! I chose to use the thick, flavourful mash to accompany my honey-glazed rack of pork roast.
1 medium celeriac
1 small onion
1 or 2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons Italian herbs
½ teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup water
¼ cup dry white wine (or dry Vermouth)
1 teaspoon hot chili paste
Salt and pepper to taste1. Heat one tablespoon olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat.
2. Stir fry the onion and the celeriac until soft and lightly browned.
3. Press and add the garlic then the herbs and chili paste.
4. After 1-2 mins, pour in the wine and just enough water to cover the vegetables.
5. Cover and let simmer for 20 mins, until the celeriac is soft and the liquids are evaporated.
6. Mash and season to taste.