I’ve always wanted to grow celeriac as I think its one of the most delicious winter vegetables you can grow. They have a wonderful nutty celery flavour and can be cooked with stews, mashed, mixed with mashed potatoes for extra flavour, celeriac soup or my favourite, celeriac salad. Twenty years ago they would have been hard to find, but they are now found on the shelves of pretty much every supermarket.
- Wash and peal your celeriac.
- Roughly chop into bite size cubes and cook in a pan of salted boiling water for about 20 minutes. The celeriac should be soft to touch, but not mushy or you’ll lose the flavour.
- Strain the water off and add a little salt and pepper, a little grated nutmeg, a tablespoon of single cream and a teaspoon of butter.
- Mash the celeriac to the consistency of mashed potato and serve … delicious!
I read somewhere celeriac are not easy to grow so I thought I’d give it a try this year as I haven’t grown it before and thought it has to be worth a try.
Back in May I planted the tiny seeds of the variety ‘President’ in some John Innes seed compost and pretty much forgot about them. I didn’t think they were growing and very nearly threw them out, but 4 weeks later the tiny little seedlings started to emmerge from the compost. They seemed to take an age to grow, but as soon as the second leaves started to appear they seemed to move on much quicker.
When they were large enough to handle I pricked them out into a seed tray and grew them on until they were sizeable plants.
In mid July I prepared last years onion plot with some well rotted manure and a sprinkling of bone meal and planted the young celeriac plants about 10 inches apart. Since then I’ve tried to keep them well watered and kept the weeds down as much as possible.
- Wash and peal the celeriac.
- Cook your celeriac whole in a pan of salted boiling water for approximately 20-30 minutes or until you can push a skewer in with little resistance.
- Take it out of the water and leave to cool.
- Slice into small bite size pieces and place in a salad bowl. A nice touch is to slice the celeriac using a serrated edged slicer, if you have one.
You can eat your celeriac salad plain, or even better add a little dressing.
Mix together the following;
- 2 Tablespoons of vegetable or extra virgin olive oil
- Salt & pepper
- Teaspoon of white wine or cider vinegar
- A little grain mustard
- Pinch of sugar
- Pinch of nutmeg
- A shake of Aromat seasoning
At the begining of October I started to feed with a little liquid tomato feed as they didn’t seem to be swelling very much at all. I use tomato feed for most of my veg as it’s high in nitrogen. I also started to strip the top few leaves away to expose the base so I can see if they are responding to the feed.
I took a few pics earlier today and looks like we may have a few that will be a reasonable size in time for Christmas dinner, fingers crossed.
If you’ve never cooked celeriac before I urge you to give it a go as the flavour is so distinct.
Hearty Celeriac Soup
- Chop a medium size onion finely and sweat off with a little vegetable oil in a deep saucepan, along with a small leek sliced finely
- Wash and peel a small celeriac and chop into small bite size chunks
- Peel 2 medium sized potatoes and chop into bite size chunks
- Add the celeriac and potatoes to the pan, along with a pint of chicken stock. I usually make my own but it works fine with a cube, always has to be Knorr for me
- Add a pinch of tyme, majoram and chopped fresh parsley (nutmeg optional)
- Salt and pepper
- Simmer for 35 minutes, but don’t boil your soup or the flavours will be lost
- When cooked set aside to cool
- When cooled take a masher or blend the soup to a smooth consistency
- Finally add a tablespoon of single cream, and reheat stirring all the time
- Serve when ready with a sprinkle of fresh parsley and fresh white crusty bread