Celeriac is my number-one root. It has a flavour somewhere between sweet earth and hazelnuts, it comforts sedately, and it reassures entirely. It can have as toothsome a crunch as it can be soft and coating, and then it can be everything inbetween.
More festive recipes:
- Roast pears with bay, shallots and juniper
- Stuffed squash with fennel and barley
- Roast saddle of venison with prune, bacon and sage stuffing
Celeriac, part of the celery family, can be found growing wild throughout the Mediterranean basin and northern Europe but the plants we cook and eat will nearly always be cultivated. It’s the swollen root that tastes so good, and for me it is one of the most versatile winter vegetables. Here, layers of thinly sliced celeriac are baked with potatoes, double cream and a whisper of salty anchovy; I find the fish bring a bring a real depth to the dish, but don’t worry, they are optional. Chilli flakes give this dish warmth.
Here’s how to make Celeriac and potato dauphinoise
- celeriac 750g
- white potatoes 750g
- double cream 750g
- garlic cloves, peeled and grated 4
- fresh red chillies, finely chopped (or 1 tsp of dried chilli flakes) 1-2
- anchovy fillets, finely chopped 4
- large sprigs of rosemary, leaves finely chopped 1-2
- salt and black pepper
Photos ©Matt Austin