Posts Tagged ‘celeriac’

Celery, the Boring Yet Underestimated Vegetable

By Chris Burchell, MediLodge of Monroe Executive Chef

Well, this is a winter for the annals! We are near breaking the record for most snow recorded in one winter and we still have a month and a half to go. Oh Spring, where are you??? I suppose there is no good in lamenting over things beyond our control. March is National Celery Month. Celery is a vegetable often perceived as, well, boring! I mean it has to be boring, if it is the favorite staple for those wishing to shed a few pounds doesn’t it? Well my friends, while it may be a somewhat boring vegetable, celery has been important to us humans for quite some time.celery

Celery is believed to be originally from the Mediterranean basin. Ancient literature documents that celery, or a similar plant form, was cultivated for medicinal purposes before 850 B.C. During ancient times physicians used celery seed to treat the following conditions: colds, flu, water retention, poor digestion, various types of arthritis, and liver and spleen ailments. The Italians domesticated celery as a vegetable in the 17th century resulting in selections with solid stems.

There are two types of stalk celery varieties, self-blanching or yellow, and green or Pascal celery. In North America green stalk celery is preferred and mainly eaten raw although it is also eaten cooked. Celeriac, grown for its large bulb (commonly but incorrectly called celery root), is very popular in Europe where it is eaten cooked or raw. Currently California harvests about 23,500 acres per year, Florida 3,500 acres per year, and Michigan 3,000 acres per year. I absolutely love celeriac! Its flavor is made to be partnered with roasted meats, so I’m including a recipe I hope you’ll use with your next pot roast or leg of lamb.

Mashed Celeriac

Ingredients:

• 1 celeriac, peeled

• 1/4 cup olive oil

• 1 handful fresh thyme, leaves picked

• 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

• sea salt

• freshly ground black pepper

• 1/4 cup vegetable or beef stock

Instructions:

1. Slice about ½ inch off the bottom of your celeriac and roll it on to that flat edge.

2. Slice and dice it all up into 1/2 inch cubes. Don’t get your ruler out – they don’t have to be perfect.

3. Put a casserole-type pot on a high heat, add olive oil, then add the celeriac, thyme and garlic, with a little seasoning.

4. Stir around to coat and fry quite fast, browning a little, for 5 minutes.

5. Turn the heat down to a simmer, add the water or stock, place a lid on top and cook for around 25 minutes, until tender.

6. Season carefully to taste and stir around with a spoon to smash up the celeriac.

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MediLodge of Monroe

MediLodge of Monroe

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