There’s not much on offer at my local farmers market this time of year, but what they do have in abundance is celeriac. This ugly duckling of the vegetable world can sometimes go unnoticed as we reach for the leeks, beetroot and last of the seasons apples. But please don’t overlook the humble celeriac, they are affordable, long lasting and so versatile in the kitchen.
I often use celeriac as an alternative to potato, thickening a soup or as a creamy mash topping a shepherds pie. It’s also delicious raw, shredded in a salad and giving a nutty celery like flavour. But best of all, the celeriac makes great chips. I’ve been grazing on this recipe for a few weeks now, usually on a Sunday afternoon whist watching a film as the constant rain keeps falling outside. Teamed up with a spicy sun-dried tomato and tahini dip, these chunky chips are an ideal comfort food.
To make the spicy dip I used some large sun-dried tomatoes I brought whilst on holiday in Italy last year, along with a packet arrabbiata which is an Italian spice blend often used in pasta sauces. Bringing food home as a souvenir is a wonderful way to remember a trip, recreating and reminiscing of the tastes and smells you experienced.
If you wanted to make your own arrabbiata, simply mix together a majority of chilli seeds and flakes with dried basil, dried parsley, garlic and salt.
Ingredients, for the chips:
1 tbsp melted coconut oil
1 tbsp fresh rosemary
For the spicy dip:
1/3 cup tahini
5-6 large sun-dried tomatoes
1 tsp arrabbiata
1 tsp cumin
1 garlic clove
2 tsp olive oil
A squeeze of lemon juice
1/2 cup water
Salt to taste
Preheat the oven to 200C and bring a saucepan of water to the boil. Peel the celeriac, removing all the green, I find using a paring knife much easier than a peeler as the skin can be quite tough. Chop the celeriac into chunky chips and place them in the boiling water for one-two minutes.
Drain the water and put the chips on a clean kitchen towel and pat dry. Place the chips on a baking tray and cover with the coconut oil. Sprinkle over plenty of salt and the chopped fresh rosemary. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until the chips are brown with crispy edges.
For the spicy tomato dip place all the ingredients in a food processor, but only add half the water. Blitz into a smooth dip and add more water if needed. The dip keeps in the fridge for up to a week and is also great with raw carrot sticks.