Celeriac… Don’t judge a book by its cover

By Corrie Heale

This gnarly looking vegetable may look like something out of a science fiction film but it’s worth wrestling with for its delicious earthy yet bright celery flavour.

Raw celeriac has a crunchy texture making it a welcome addition to winter salads and slaws. Cooked celeriac on the other hand, becomes a smoother more buttery affair that I like to team up with tangy goats cheese to offset the celeriac’s natural sweetness.

Celeriac & goats cheese soup

Serves 4 / Hands on time 20 / Total time 40 mins /V Gf

You’ll need:

Hand blender or food processor

30g unsalted butter

1 onion, peeled and chopped

2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped

½ tsp salt flakes

1 medium celeriac (400g), peeled and chopped

1 litre vegetable stock, I use 1Knorr gluten free stock pot

125g vegetarian soft goats cheese + extra to garnish

Black pepper

Extra virgin olive oil to serve

Method

1. Over a medium heat in a large pot, sweat the chopped onion and garlic down in the butter along with ½ tsp of salt flakes. Put the lid on and soften for 10 mins, stirring frequently.

2. Meanwhile, peel and chop the celeriac. Add to the softened onions along with the vegetable stock and a pinch of black pepper. Up the heat and bring to the boil, before reducing and simmering for 20 minutes with the lid on. Once the celeriac is soft, take the pot off the heat and blend well with a hand blender or food processor until smooth.

3. Add the soft goats cheese and blend again until your soup is silky smooth. Ladle into bowls, top with any spare goat cheese, extra virgin olive oil and a good crack of black pepper.

Celeriac baked rice ​with goats cheese

Serves 4 / Hands on time 25 mins / Total time 1 hr 15 mins /V

You’ll need:

A deep oven-proof casserole dish

2 tbs rapeseed oil 

1 white onion, finely chopped 

4 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced 

1 medium sized celeriac (roughly 650g), peeled and cut into large chunks 

½ tsp garlic granules 

½ tsp sea salt 

Pinch of cayenne pepper 

Pinch chilli flakes 

500ml vegetable stock, I use 1 Knorr stock pot 

200g brown basmati rice 

4 rosemary sprigs 

150g vegetarian goats cheese (including rind) 

85g black olives, drained and halved 

Fresh parsley, chopped

Method

1. Preheat an oven to 220°C/200°C fan/428°F/gas mark 7. Add the chopped onion and the garlic to a deep casserole dish along with the rapeseed oil, garlic granules, sea salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper and a pinch of chilli flakes. Give it all a good stir.

2. Peel and cut the celeriac into large pieces and add to the dish. Using a spoon, turn the celeriac in the marinade until the pieces are evenly coated. Add the rice and pour over the vegetable stock and stir carefully. Make sure the rice is fully immersed under the stock before adding the rosemary springs. Cover the dish in a layer of tin foil and bake in the oven for 50-55 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, roughly cut the goats cheese into chunks, finely chop the parsley and half the black olives. Put to one side.

4. Once cooked, remove the rice from the oven and discard the foil. Taste the rice to check it’s cooked (if the rice is still a little tough, cover in foil and return to the oven and cook for a further 5-10 minutes. Wholegrain basmati rice is a little firmer than regular basmati so will still have a bit of bite to it even when cooked).

5. Top the rice with goat cheese and sprinkle with fresh parsley and black olives. Serve with a simple green salad.

Corrie Heale

Freelance food writer / vegetarian food blogger and recipe writer. corriesrabbitfood.com @corrieheale

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