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 in between.

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.


  • 750g Celeriac
  • 750g White potatoes
  • 750g Double cream
  • 4 Garlic cloves, peeled and grated
  • 1-2 Red chillies, finely chopped (or 1 tsp of dried chilli flakes)
  • 4 Anchovy fillets, finely chopped
  • 1-2 large sprigs Fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • Salt and black pepper


  • STEP 1

    Celeriac and potato dauphinoise

    Pre-heat the oven to 160°C/320°F/gas mark 3.

  • STEP 2

    Peel the celeriac and slice it very thinly (2p-piece thickness is good). Do the same with the potato and place them both in a large bowl.

  • STEP 3
    Celeriac and potato dauphinoise by Gill Meller

    Put the cream, garlic, chilli, anchovy (if using) and rosemary into a saucepan set over a medium heat. Bring to the simmer, then pour this hot infused cream over the celeriac and potato. Season well with salt and pepper, then tumble everything together.

  • STEP 4

    Layer the celeriac and potato up as evenly as you can in the prepared dish. Pour over any cream from the bowl and press everything down with the back of a spatula so it’s nice and level. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until tender inside and golden and bubbling on top.

Photos ©Matt Austin


Gill MellerChef and food writer

Gill is a chef, food writer, author, food stylist, and cookery teacher who lives and works near Lyme Regis in Dorset.