Caramelized celeriac with walnuts and greens
This recipe involves cooking the celeriac twice — it is first roasted in the oven, and then caramelized in a skillet — and may be done in two stages, with the final caramelization at the last minute before the dish is brought to the table.
The result is a succulent winter salad that works equally well as a light main dish at lunchtime, a starter for a larger meal or a side dish.
1/2 large or 1 medium celeriac
3 tbsp. olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp. sugar, preferably demerara or cassonnade
1/2 cup water
2-3 handfuls arugula
several stems of fresh herbs: dill, cilantro and mint
2 handfuls shelled walnuts
2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
Preheat the oven to gas mark 6 (400 F, 200 C).
Remove the rind of the celeriac. This is easiest if you slice the bulb lengthwise into pieces about 1-1/2 inch (4 cm) wide, and then cut away the rind using a very sharp knife. Slice the trimmed lengths into bite-sized pieces, about 1/2 inch (1 cm) thick.
Use 1 tbsp. olive oil to oil a large roasting pan, preferably ceramic or glass. Distribute the celeriac pieces in the roasting pan and drizzle with 1 tbsp. olive oil.
Place in the oven and roast for 20 minutes. Remove, flip the pieces over, and return to the oven for another 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven. The celeriac should be tender and a light golden brown. You can stop here and finish the dish later, or continue with the recipe.
Heat a large non-stick frying pan — no more oil is needed. Add the celeriac pieces. Sprinkle with the sugar and add the water. Cook for several minutes, flipping the pieces occasionally, until the water has evaporated and they are a deep golden brown. Season with salt to taste and grind on some black pepper.
Prepare the greens while the celeriac is cooling. Distribute the arugula on individual plates. Add the leaves of the dill, cilantro and mint. Place the celeriac pieces on top of the greens. Crush the walnuts in your hand and sprinkle over the top.
Drizzle with the balsamic vinegar and the rest of the olive oil. Add more seasonings as desired.