Celery root & leek ideas/recipes

Celery root is great …

… in soup!

One of my favorite winter soups to make is simple. After we roast a chicken, I pick any remaining meat from the carcass (and set aside for the soup). Then I make some good quality stock by boiling the carcass in just enough water for two or so hours (but you could start with canned veg/meat broth too).

I drain the stock and then add the chicken meat and various cubed vegetables (including celery root of course!). I simmer until the veggies are cooked through. If I have any kale or chard, I like to add that too, towards the end (chop finely first and then simmer until very well cooked). Add salt and pepper to taste. Sometimes I add cooked rice to each bowl when serving the soup — so delicious and warming on a cold day!

… roasted!

Dinner is in one hour, and the fridge is full of root vegetables — what to do? Pull out the cutting board and start peeling and chopping! Toss veggies with olive oil, and fill a baking pan or sheet with just enough mixed root veggies to cover (you want them to roast, not steam).

Roast at 375°, stirring occasionally, until the veggies are cooked through and beginning to brown. Salt and pepper to taste. We eat roasted veggies at least once a week in the winter — served with sautéed cabbage, some bread and cheese, and you’ve got a delicious and complete filling meal!

… raw! Here’s a recipe idea:

Celery Root and Apple Salad with Toasted Walnuts

Roughly peel your celery root (with a paring knife and broad strokes) and then cut into matchsticks. Core and cut an apple into matchsticks. Combine the celery root and apple in a bowl and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice.

Toss with a small amount of minced onion and finely chopped salad mix. In a separate bowl, prepare a dressing — whisk until well combined: 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon mustard seed, 1 tablespoon mustard, 1 tablespoon honey, ½ cup vegetable oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Toss with the celery root mixture. Garnish with 1 cup toasted walnut halves.

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Leek ideas!

First of all, remember that you can use leeks in place of onions in any dish. They take slightly longer to cook down, but if sliced into half moons before cooking, they can almost disappear into a cooked dish in a pleasant and flavorful manner. Here are a few specific cooking ideas to use if you find yourself with a glut of leeks in your fridge:

Easy Puff Pastry Leek Tarts

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Prepare crust: On a lightly floured work surface, roll1 sheet store-bought puff pastry to a 10-by-14-inch rectangle. Halve lengthwise into two 5-by-14-inch rectangles. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. With a paring knife, lightly score each rectangle 1/2 inch from edges, creating a border; prick pastry inside border all over with a fork. Refrigerate for 15 minutes, then bake until golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare leeks: In a large skillet, heat butter over medium. Add 4-6 thinly sliced leeks and 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves; season with salt and pepper and stir. Cook until lightly browned and softened, 5 minutes. Uncover and cook until tender, 5 to 7 minutes.

Spread ½ cup soft goat cheese evenly over prepared crust; spoon leeks over goat cheese. Cut tarts into wedges, and serve.

Leek and Mushroom Risotto

Melt 2 tablespoons unsalted butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add 3 chopped leeks, 1 finely chopped onion, and 2 minced cloves garlic; cook until softened and lightly browned, 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 1 cup chopped mushrooms and cook until softened and liquid has cooked out, 4 to 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper and stir.

Add ¾ cup Arborio rice to pot and stir to coat; cook 3 minutes, stirring. Add ¼ cup white wine and cook until liquid evaporates, 6 to 7 minutes.

Add chicken broth ¼ cup at a time (to total 3 cups), and bring heat to a gentle simmer. Allow each increment of liquid to be absorbed before adding the next, stirring occasionally. The entire process will take up to 45 minutes. When rice is sticky, smooth, and slightly al dente, remove from heat. Add ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, stir to mix, and serve immediately.

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