Celeriac has a soft texture and celery taste for roasting, braising, frying, and boiling. Underneath the unusual and rough exterior, it is an agile ingredient.

Raw celeriac on a wooden table with a knife

Growing celeriac

Celeriac requires commitment and time to grow outdoors. Growers will have laboured for eight to ten months to produce mature size crops for harvesting as a winter vegetable. Adventitious roots of the vegetable will be trimmed by the horticulturist during growth, which gives the vegetable its distinct exterior skin.

It’s texture and the taste is surprising. Carol Klein, in her Royal Horticultural Society book, Grow Your Own Veg, writes about celeriac, Apium graveolens, Beneath its slightly odd gnarled appearance lies delicious creamy, potato-like flesh with a subtle celery-like flavour. Well-grown, well-tended celeriac is quite a sight, and can easily rival a coconut in size.

Chopped up celeriac

Shopping for Celeriac

It’s not usual for a shopper in a greengrocer or supermarket to be first introduced to a film wrapped celeriac. This covering can be removed from it while it is stored in a cool dark place where cooks would keep their potatoes, parsnips, and carrots.

When looking at recipes for cooking it, a cook should consider the average-sized celeriac weighs 1 kg. Once the outer skin is removed, there remains a sizable amount of celeriac for roasting, braising, frying, and boiling in their recipe of choice. This celery soup is a great way to use it.

If the winter harvest brings an abundance of celeriac, then freezing of the vegetable is possible. It can be prepared for freezing by par-boiling 1 inch (2.5 cm) cubes and wedges and cooling first.

Knife with cubes of celeriac

Cooking it in Winter

Although delicate in its celery-like flavour and its potato-like texture, celeriac is robust enough as a winter vegetable to join strong meats and other winter vegetables such as carrots, parsnips, turnips with onions and mushrooms, and stock for braising in a slow cooker casserole.

Boiled in water for 15 to 20 minutes it can be as easily mashed with parsnips or with potato with perhaps Dijon mustard. The celery taste is subtle, and boiled celeriac can be combined with fruit and salad vegetables to make a hot or cold side salad dish.

Roasting it in the oven for 20 minutes with a light coating of quality olive oil will give a crisper coating to the soft potato-like cooked celeriac. Cooks could cut the peeled celeriac into chunky rectangles to form chunky alternative chips or into wedges for another roast side dish.

Does shopping in the supermarket stress you? I wrote an open letter to a stressed mum you might enjoy. Don’t forget to check out my supermarket money-saving tips too. Remember buying seasonal fruit and vegetables saves money.

If you need ready-made meal plans to keep you motivated check out my directory including a winter warmer meal plan, Hot summer meal plan and an autumn meal plan and many more.

Other ingredients tips you may like

If you like to cook with different ingredients and find different ways of using them then here are a few other articles I think you might like.

Oats an original superfood with lots of uses

Is couscous healthy, how you can use couscous well

How to grow your own vegetables from scraps

Jackfruit – what is it and how to use it

Cranberry juice – what are the benefits of it and how can you enjoy it

Seaweed – an unusual ingredient you should consider

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