My Godly Greens: Braised celeriac and carrot matchsticks.
Celeriac really is no-ones favourite vegetable. A strong taste, a weird texture and a bad reputation. We rarely have it on its own – occasionally we serve it with something, mash it up, or add it to give flavor; but only rarely do we appreciate it for its own sake. But when we do, it is worth it. Given a bit of time it will melt right on your tongue, leaving behind an intense note of umami, without a single ounce of meat to it. It is the combination of rice-wine and soy-sauce, the sweetness of the carrot and the intensity of the celeriac, that makes this dish special. And it is the warmth of chilli that will bring it home.
After a crazy weekend of travelling, too much pork and new connections made, I’m finally able to upload this post. I used to beat myself up over posting late, but with all that is on my plate these days (no pun intended) I learned that a little kindness goes a long way. So here I am, three days late, with an incredibly short post. The dish, however, is worth trying – and I’d encourage you to give celeriac a place at your table, every now and then at least.
Braised celeriac and carrot matchsticks.
For one person, serve with a side of rice; takes about 30 minutes largely unattended.
- half a small head of root celeriac
- one large carrot
- one medium onion
- chilli (fresh)
- sesame oil (3 tbsp)
- shaoxing wine (100 ml)
- light soy sauce (100 ml)
- water (200 ml)
- garlic (fresh, one clove)
- Sesame seeds
- Spring onion
- Cut the celeriac and carrot into matchstick sized pieces, slice the onion into fine stripes, finely slice the garlic and the chilli.
- Add the sesame oil to a non-stick pan, allow to heat up and add the matchsticks. Let brown for about 5 minutes. Then add the onion stripes and allow to brown for another 2 or 3 minutes. Add the garlic and the chilli and fry for another minute.
- Add the light soy sauce and the rice wine, and the water.
- Allow to cook for about 20 minutes, or until the celeriac has turned somewhat translucent (in this case, tinted with brown), add more water throughout this process, so that the vegetables remain covered.
- When the celeriar is creamy and tender, allow the sauce to reduce until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon with a slight film.
- Scatter with sesame seeds and finely sliced spring onion.