There is a wise old saying that “For everything there is a season” and perhaps nowhere is that more true than with cooking.
Prudent chefs and home cooks know how to take advantage of fresh, seasonal offerings like winter vegetables into their menus.
One winter vegetable that is plentiful and in season from October through April is celeriac.
What is Celeriac?
Celeriac is the edible root of a variety of celery. It has fibrous brown skins and velvety white flesh. The smaller, firmer ones tend to taste better than the larger ones. It’s taste resembles celery and it pair well with salty meats such as salami and prosciutto.
Here are two celeriac inspired recipes that you may want to incorporate into your family’s winter menu options.
Celeriac Salad with Prosciutto
• ¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard
• ½ pounds thinly sliced prosciutto
• 1 large celeriac
• ¼ cup mayonnaise
Begin by peeling and slicing the celeriac into thin, narrow slices. Then take out a medium sized saucepan and fill it half way up with salted water.
Set the saucepan over a medium flame and allow the salted water to come to a boil. Place the celeriac slices into the boiling water and blanch them for up to 3 minutes.
Once blanched, remove the celeriac from the water and allow it to cool. While the celeriac is cooling take out a medium sized mixing bowl and add to it the mayonnaise and mustard. Blend the two together and then toss the celeriac into it.
Continue to toss the mixture until the celeriac is well coated. Set the celeriac mixture aside and take out the thinly sliced prosciutto. Neatly roll the prosciutto up into small cylindrical shapes. Proceed by placing the prosciutto rolls onto one half of a serving dish.
Plate the celeriac on the same plate opposite the prosciutto rolls. Garnish the dish with some fresh sprigs of parsley and serve with a nice roast and a good vintage wine.
Celeriac and Potato Puree
• 1 pound celeriac
• 1 ½ cups cooked mashed potato
• 3 tablespoons salted butter
• ¼ cup heavy cream
• Salt and pepper to taste
Begin by placing the unpeeled celeriac into a pot of boiling salted water. Boil the celeriac for 40 minutes or until it becomes tender, whichever comes first. Remove the celeriac from the water and allow it to cool. Chop and puree the cooled celeriac until it is smooth.
Next take out a medium sized mixing bowl and blend together the celeriac puree with the mashed potatoes. Add the heavy cream, butter and seasonings to the celeriac potato mixture to taste.
Note, you may need to reheat the dish before serving if the potatoes and celeriac have cooled down too much during the mixing process. This celeriac inspired dish also pairs well with a nice roast and a good vintage wine.