I’m not one to eat the right kind of food at the right time of year. Although I appreciate chilled soup a bit more in summer, and a rich stew in winter, sometimes my tastes go upside down. This is how I ended up making this rich, wintery dish in the middle of summer. Sometimes things just happen that way. This is a recipe adapted from Dennis Cotter of Cafe Paradiso, a restaurant serving only vegetarian food in Cork city in Ireland. Vegetarian restaurants tend to be viewed as places for hemp wearing, crystal healing, knit your own yoghurt hippies, filled with tofu loaf and joyless grated salads made with vegan mayonnaise, but the recipes from Cafe Paradiso’s cookbooks are elegant (except in this slightly over-exposed photo), complex and up there with any fine dining Ireland has on offer.
The original dish used swede and chestnuts instead of celeriac and hazelnut. Any kind of turnip would do either.This would make a great vegetarian Christmas main. It’s elegant, rich and decadent. I would happily take this over turkey any day.
- 2 celeriac
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 100mls white wine
- 100mls vegetable stock or water
- 250g brown mushrooms e.g. chestnut, field or portobello
- 100g cream cheese
- 100g roasted hazelnuts, chopped
- 400ml red wine
- 200ml tomato passata or pureed tinned tomato
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- ½ stick celery, chopped
- 2 cloves
- 30g unsalted butter, diced
- Honey or sugar (to taste)
- Peel and trim the celeriac with a very large knife.
- Thinly slice a piece about 1/2cm thick and trim it into a neat rectangle or square around 7cm in length.
- Continue to slice the remaining celeriac and cut against the first slice so you are left with 16 equally proportioned slices.
- Boil the slices in a pot of salted water for 7 minutes and carefully remove (they will be slightly soft at this stage).
- Meanwhile, melt the butter, wine and stock in a saucepan.
- Lay out the slices in one or two large oven dishes and pour the melted buttery sauce over.
- You may need to layer the slices depending, if so, pour sauce over each layer and make overlapping layers so they are easy to separate after without breaking.
- Cover the dishes with tinfoil and cook in the oven at 160C for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, chop the mushrooms and pan fry dry until browned and soft.
- Combine with the cream cheese and hazelnuts, and blend until you get a paste.
- To make the sauce, put all the ingredients but the honey and butter in a large pot and bring to the boil.
- Simmer for 15 minutes, then blend with a stick blender, strain and return it to the pot to cook down by half.
- Lay out four slices of celeriac on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Evenly spread some of the hazelnut paste on each.
- Repeat with the remaining layers until you have four slices and three layers of paste.
- Brush the tops with a bit of melted butter and cook in the oven at 160C for 5-10 minutes until heated through.
- Just before serving, season the sauce and check, sweetening if needed with honey or sugar and whisk in the butter.
- Serve the galletes with the sauce and some nice bread for mopping.