…celeriwhat?

I was at the farm shop last weekend, stocking up for a big batch of vegetable stew to serve me for the coming week. Most of the shop’s weekend staff are teenagers, local kids doing it for pocket money. They are unfailingly polite and helpful, including the new girl that served me this weekend. However, she had to ask me what some of my vegetables were – she failed to recognise spinach and celeriac and I felt like asking her whether she ate vegetables at home.

Frozen spinach is convenient and it looks much darker than the bright green of fresh spinach leaves. So confusing it with chard, say, is not hard to imagine. But celeriac is such an odd looking thing that surely it’s unmistakable. Maybe I was lucky enough to have been introduced to it early – and that my mother adores it (even if my father is indisposed to root vegetables generally).

I use celeriac often – it gives a lift to roasted parsnips and carrots, which I sometimes find too sweet on their own, and it lightens mashed potato. In summer a rémoulade de céleri is a treat. In winter, however, I recommend celeriac and porcini mushroom soup (the recipe is in the New Covent Garden Soup Company’s Soup and Beyond). It’s both hearty in flavour and easy on the waist…

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~ by jobes on October 10, 2008.

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