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Smashed Celeriac

It’s been too long since I last posted. I’ve got some weak excuses; I’ve been on
holiday, and moved house, and life (and my current lack of internet at home) has got in the way. However I feel obliged to briefly share my latest revelation. I’m absolutely, totally, completely head over heels in love with celeriac. I feel like singing from the rooftops in a high pitched voice. The sun hasn’t stopped shining and the world looks rosy. I can’t think of anything else. It must be true love.

My love affair started after having it at the fantastic Trullo restaurant about a month or so ago and now I just can’t get enough. Unfortunately for celeriac, it doesn’t have beauty on its side. I can confidently say that this is one of the ugliest vegetables around and as the greengrocers’ most grotesque gourd, it hardly endears people to cook it. However those brave enough to jump into bed with the parsnips ugly sister will be richly rewarded with a sweet, delicately peppery vegetable with a hint of celery that goes with pretty much any meat you can name. Partnered with garlic (because everything tastes better with garlic), and thyme, smashed celeriac is a side dish you need in your life.

Not exactly a looker…

Smashed Celeriac.
Serves 4.

1 celeriac, peeled.
3 good size cloves of garlic
Small bunch of thyme
Pinch of sugar
Olive oil
Seasoning
Water/stock

Chop the celeriac into chunks about a cm squared and heat up a splash of olive oil in a pan on the hob. Finely chop the garlic, pull the leaves off the sprigs of thyme, and put this along with the celeriac and a pinch of sugar in the pan. Keep everything moving and cook for 5-10 minutes on a high heat until the celeriac colours a little. Then add about 100 ml of water (stock if you’re feeling fancy), season well, and put a lid on the pan. Reduce the heat down and cook for around 25 minutes until it’s reasonably soft. When you’re ready to eat, use a wooden spoon to then bash up some of the celeriac so it’s part mashed, but don’t go overboard. What you’re aiming for is really soft looking chunks in a bit of mash, almost as though they’ve broken up from being stirred too much.

Eat with red wine and meat whilst you struggle to not tell your partner that you’re in love with a root vegetable. Good luck.

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