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Celeriac Latkes

celeriac laktes

There’s usually a reason why popular vegetables are popular, and ones nobody has ever heard of are ones nobody has ever heard of.

If you were starving celeriac wouldn’t make it into the garden – five months to harvest a root the size of a beet from a plant that takes five times as much room. If you were broke celeriac wouldn’t make it into the garden – an ugly knobbly hairy root that can’t be cleaned up for sale without the cut surfaces oxidising.  If you were on subsistence rations celeriac wouldn’t make it into the garden – even though it’s loaded with good fibre and minerals,  it is only about a third of the kJ of potatoes.  But hey, I have enough time and space, I’ve learned not to judge a vegetable by its cover, and I’m not in any great need of calories!

I plant celeriac same time as celery, from early autumn till mid-winter.  They both have a long slow start, the plants staying small and very vulnerable to drying out for a couple of months.  So it is  May before the first of them get out of the shadehouse and into the garden and August before the first harvest.  Those late winter harvests go wonderfully well as mash with stews and caseroles – a mild creamy sweet flavour perfect for soaking up rich sauces.

celeriac

These ones were the last of the harvest, cleared out of a bed that the chooks will be going into this week.  This time of year they are either julienned into slaw with cabbage and carrot and roasted pecans and homemade mayonnaise.  Or made into latkes like this.

The Recipe:

This makes eight latkes.

Celeriac oxidises (like potatoes) once it is cut, so you can’t do any of this ahead of time.

  • Finely chop a good handful of parsley (or you could substitute dill or fennel).
  • Finely dice a small onion or a spring onion (greens and all)
  • Put them in a bowl and add salt, pepper, two eggs and a small handful of plain wholemeal flour (or you could substitute besan or polenta or semolina).
  • Peel and grate two celeriacs and add to the bowl.  Use your hands to squish it all together.
  • Heat up a pan with a couple of centimetres of oil till quite hot, then drop in balls of the celeriac mix and flatten them with the back of a spatula.
  • Fry until golden both sides.

The flavour of celeriac is delicate and creamy and sweet, so to my taste they are best just on their own with a side salad, but a yoghurt or sour cream based sauce is ok too.

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Kate December 7, 2015, 10:13 am

    thanks for sharing the recipe Linda. i’ve never grown celeriac before but the latkes look delicious

  • Amanda December 7, 2015, 10:27 am

    Welcome back, Linda! So great to hear what’s happening in your kitchen and garden. I tried growing celeriac for the first time this year and there just didn’t seem to be much of a root. Was I supposed to trim off the stalks to find the root inside? I was expecting it to be underneath like a beetroot. Or maybe SE Queensland is just a bit marginal? I will try again next year…

  • Linda December 8, 2015, 9:47 am

    Hi Amanda, I’ve edited the post to include a photo of my celeriac at harvest time. The root grows half out of the ground, half in, with a hairy knobbly rootball about the size of a large beet. For subtropical climates like ours it’s a bit tricky. It is slow, and like celery it doesn’t like warm weather. So we need to keep it going at a pace to fit it into our short winter. My best ones are those planted as seed in mid autumn, fed well and kept watered in the shadehouse, planted out into a rich bed in early winter, maturing in early spring.

  • Amanda December 8, 2015, 10:21 am

    That pic is helpful, thanks Linda. Mine didn’t rise out of the ground like that either – I will have another go in a few months with more attention to water and see if I get better results. Thank you 🙂

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