Celeriac risotto, celeriac puree, roasted cobnuts and grapes, tarragon.
1 large head of celeriac or two small ones
approximately 10 cobnuts (or hazelnuts – use more of these as they are smaller)
10 – 15 grapes (red will contrast beautifully for colour, but green also work)
2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
a few sprigs of tarragon
salt and pepper
Thoroughly scrub the celeriac, then peel and halve it.
For the stock
i. Put the peel in a stock pot with about a litre of water, some peppercorns and a good pinch of salt. Boil away for 30 – 45 minutes, until the stock tastes of celeriac.
ii. Strain the stock and discard the peel.
For the puree:
i. Meanwhile, dice half the celeriac into inch cubes, coat sparingly with olive oil and a good pinch of salt and roast in the oven for 30 minutes at 190 degrees or until the celeriac is cooked through and soft to the touch. You can also boil the celeriac if you prefer – the flavour will be different but just as good.
ii. Blend the celeriac until smooth. Adjust the seasoning. Set aside to reheat later.
For the grapes
i. Place the grapes on a roasting tray (you could use the same one you used for the celeriac), coat in a couple of tablespoons of pomegranate molasses
ii. Roast at 190 degrees for about 15 minutes until soft and the skins are bursting.
For the cobnuts
i. Peel and shell the cobnuts and wrap them in foil. If using hazelnuts, use ready shelled or blanched ones and just place directly in foil.
ii. Roast along with the grapes for about 30 minutes until they start to smell lovely and nutty.
iii. Set aside a few cobuts, and chop the rest. Place the chopped cobnuts on a roasting tray and roast for 5 – 10 minutes until they start to turn brown.
For the risotto
i. With the other half of the celeriac, finely dice in a ‘brunoise’ so that it looks like rice. To get the best result, thinly slice, stack up your slices and julienne into thin strips, then run through again the other way to get your fine dice.
ii. Finely chop the tarragon.
iii. Muddle half the tarragon with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil to release the flavour of the herb into the oil. Set aside.
iv. Fry the ‘rice’ in a glug of olive oil. Add the other half of the chopped tarragon, a good pinch of salt and grind of pepper, and add the celeriac stock gradually, cooking out the celeriac as you would do a risotto. Keep adding the stock, letting it absorb each time, until the celeriac is cooked through but with a slight bite.
i. Warm up the puree (in a pan or in the microwave), and warm through the grapes.
ii. Divide the puree between two bowls – a big dollop on one side of the dish.
iii. Spoon the risotto on the other side of the bowl.
iv. Place the grapes around the bowl.
v. Sprinkle the toasted cobnuts over the puree and risotto, and grate the remaining cobnuts over the top using a microplane.
vi. Dot the tarragon oil over and around the dish.
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