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Whole Roasted Celeriac

by Sophie Gordon from The Whole Vegetable

Substitute this vegan show-stopper for your usual Sunday Roast this weekend. With whole roasted celeriac and a flavoursome herb and mushroom gravy, it's a deeply wintry feast.

From the book

Sophie Gordon

Introduction

If this cosy, hearty recipe doesn’t scream winter, I don’t know what does. I love making this at the weekend, when I don’t mind prepping a little earlier in the day. The cooking time for the celeriac is a few hours, but it’s definitely worth the wait. While it’s cooking you can make the gravy, allowing it to simmer and become rich and full of body. Pan-fried seasonal greens and a glass of wine are my favourites to pair with this!

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Ingredients

1 medium celeriac
2 cloves of garlic, skins removed, bashed with the back of a knife and roughly broken up
1–2 tbsp olive oil
A few sprigs of fresh thyme
1 tsp ground turmeric
salt and pepper
For the gravy:
olive oil, for frying
1 medium onion, finely chopped or diced
250g mushrooms (chestnut, button, variety, etc.), sliced
3 cloves of garlic, crushed or finely chopped
Approx. 500–750ml vegetable stock
2 tbsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
1½ tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
A few fresh sage leaves, rubbed to release their flavour and roughly chopped
2–4 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp sherry or white wine vinegar
2 tbsp coconut aminos or soy sauce
2 tbsp plain flour
65ml unsweetened plant-based milk
salt and pepper
To serve:
1 lemon, cut into wedges

Essential kit

You will need: a food processor or hand blender.

Method

Preheat your oven to 200°C fan. Wash and scrub your celeriac well, removing excess dirt. Using a sharp knife, pierce it all over its whole surface, about 1cm or so deep.

Place the celeriac on a baking tray. In a small bowl, combine your garlic, olive oil, thyme, turmeric and a good seasoning of salt and pepper. Using a pastry brush or your fingertips, cover the celeriac with the oil mixture, spreading the garlic pieces on the celeriac to roast too.

Place in the oven on a low shelf and roast for about 2½ hours. It may take slightly more or less depending on your oven. Check on the celeriac throughout, spooning over any juices that appear in the bottom of the tray. Once it’s cooked you want a knife to be able to go through easily and for the outside to be a lovely golden brown. Once the celeriac has roasted, remove it from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.

While the celeriac is cooking, you can make your gravy. Drizzle a tablespoon or so of oil into a wide pan and start to fry your onions until soft and translucent.

Add the mushrooms and garlic and continue to fry for a few minutes – the mixture will become quite moist, due to the mushrooms. Once cooked and fragrant, add about 500ml of the stock, the thyme, rosemary and sage, and stir well. Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce to a simmer.

Add the nutritional yeast, mustard, vinegar, coconut aminos, flour and plant-based milk. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Slowly stir on a low heat to get rid of any lumps, allowing the liquid to thicken. For a thinner gravy, you can go ahead and add the rest of the stock here.

Turn off the heat, then remove a third of the mushroom mixture and put to one side. Either pour the rest of the gravy into an upright blender, or use a hand blender to blitz it until smooth.

Season to taste, then put the blended liquid and the reserved mushrooms back into a saucepan. On a low-medium heat, begin to warm the mushroom gravy, stirring to combine.

To serve, place the celeriac, whole, on a serving plate. Score a cross on top and prise it open ever so slightly, pouring over the gravy and allowing it to seep through the gaps. Place the lemon wedges around the dish and season with extra salt and pepper if necessary. You could also plate up individually, cutting the celeriac into ‘steaks’ or any other way you like. Pour over the gravy and serve with lemon wedges, as above.

Waste tips: This gravy is perfect for any vegetables. I love roasting a big batch of vegetables at the end of the week to pair with it. You could also pour the gravy over a mash or turn it into a pie. If you have any leftover gravy, you could create a ‘meal for one’ in a small pie dish or ramekin, placing some mash in the bottom, with a big handful of greens, and topping with the gravy. Bake in the oven for around 15 minutes to heat through and get a lovely crispy topping. You could add some nutritional yeast or another layer of mash – you can really be creative. If you don’t have a celeriac, this recipe also works great with a cauliflower or
a large, firm cabbage.

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From the book: The Whole Vegetable

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