Our large, knobbly celeriac are finally back in season, perfect for all your winter soups and stews. If you haven’t tried celeriac before, it is a delicious and versatile vegetable which tastes like a cross between celery, parsnip and potato. As well and soups and stews, it is stunning raw in creamy salads like remoulade. You can also roast it or bake it in a gratin. We love pairing it’s sweet, herby, mild flavour with something strong flavoured like capers or these salty, smokey mushrooms. Give it a try and do share your favourite celeriac recipes in the comments, we are always looking for inspiration.
Ingredients (serves 6)
For the soup:
1 tbsp oil
1 white onion, peeled & diced
4 cloves of garlic, peeled & sliced
3 sticks of celery, sliced
1 celeriac, peeled & cubed
1 stock cube or 1 tbsp bouillion powder
1 tbsp dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste
For the smokey mushrooms:
1 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp smoked paprika
300g chestnut mushrooms, thinly sliced
Put a kettle on to boil with 1 liter of water. Then, in a large soup pot, sauté the onion, garlic, celery and celeriac with the oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. After 5 minutes the vegetables should be slightly softened.
Add the thyme, crumble in the stock cube and pour in the freshly boiled water. Give the pot a stir then get the lid on and simmer the soup for 15 minutes or so until the celeriac is soft enough to blend.
Meanwhile, mix together the maple, soy, oil, garlic, pepper and smoked paprika in a bowl. Tumble in the sliced mushrooms and mix well to coat each slice in the marinade. Scrape the mushrooms into a large frying pan and stir fry until hot and beautifully browned.
Blend the soup and taste for seasoning. Add more salt or pepper as needed then serve in bowls topped with the smokey mushrooms. Enjoy.
This stew is so hearty and delicious. The depth of flavour from the combination of sweet beetroots, earthy mushrooms, nutty lentils, red wine, garlic and herbs makes a really memorable dish which you’ll be making over and over again. This meat-free version of beef bourguignon packs just as much punch in the flavour department, as well as many more nutrients. Lentils are cheap and nutritious, bringing lots of fibre, protein, B vitamins and iron to your plate. Our Irish beetroots are rich in antioxidants, folate and nitrates. Mushrooms contain many important vitamins, minerals and antioxidants too. All in all, you can be assured that this plant based version of the classic French stew is doing you good.
Ingredients (serves 4)
1 large red onion, roughly diced (shallots or white onions work fine here too)
1 whole bulb of garlic, cloves separated & peeled
250g mushrooms, halved or quartered
300g beetroot, scrubbed & roughly diced
a generous drizzle of olive oil
salt and black pepper to taste
200g green lentils, rinsed
3 bay leaves
5 sprigs of thyme
250ml red wine
500ml vegetable stock
1 tbsp capers
mashed potatoes to serve
In a large pot, mix the onion, garlic, beetroot and mushroom, then oil and season with salt and pepper. Now, if you have the oven on, you can roast these ingredients for around 20 minutes until they are just soft and starting to take on some delicious caramelisation. If you’d rather not put the oven on, you can sauté these ingredients on a medium heat on the stove top instead.
Now place the pot over a high heat and add the lentils, wine, bay leaves, thyme sprigs and capers. Stir for a few minutes to cook out the wine and then add the vegetable stock. Cover the pot and turn down to simmer for 20 or 30 minutes, until the lentils are cooked through. Stir occasionally to ensure the lentils don’t catch and add a splash more water if needed.
Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed with more salt or pepper. Then serve with creamy mashed potatoes and some seasonal greens. Enjoy!
This lentil ragu is a firm family favourite. It’s quick and easy to make, full of flavour and nutrition (lentils are a powerhouse of fibre, protein, potassium, iron and folate) and it can be frozen in portions to use on busy days. I use this as a ‘base’ recipe but often add or switch the vegetables with the seasons. For example, the carrots can be swapped with swede, beetroot or squash, the mushrooms could be replaced with aubergine or crumbled walnuts. We usually stir it through pasta or layer it up in a lasagne but it also makes a great cottage pie when topped with mash and baked.
You can also tweak the seasoning and turn this Italian-style ragu into a Tex-Mex-style chilli non-carne! Just use chilli, cumin, coriander, bay, oregano and smoked paprika in place of the herbs, and add a drained tin of kidney beans and peppers to the mix too. This adaptable lentil ragu recipe is just thing to add to your repertoire for hearty family meals.
Ingredients (serves 4)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, diced
2 carrots, diced
3 sticks of celery, diced
approx 10 chestnut mushrooms, diced
1x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
1x 400g tin of green lentils, drained
2 bay leaves
1 tsp each: fennel seeds, thyme and oregano
optional splash of red wine…
salt and pepper to taste (roughly a tsp of each)
pasta to serve (100g dried weight per person) we stock a range of organic wheat, wholegrain and gluten free varieties
Gather and prepare your ingredients and find a large pan to cook your ragu in. Get a big pot of water on to boil for the pasta.
Sauté the onion with the olive oil for roughly 6 minutes over a medium-high heat until softening and starting to take on some colour.
Then add the salt, pepper, fennel, oregano, thyme and garlic and stir for a minute to release and wake up the flavours.
4. Add the diced vegetables and sauté for 5-10 minutes until they start to soften and cook in their own juices. Then add the chopped tomatoes and bay leaves.
5. Swirl the juices out of the tin into the pan by filling the tin with water. Then add the drained lentils and simmer for about 10 minutes or until the sauce is rich and delicious. You may need to add a splash of water (or red wine) to loosen the sauce if it is starting to look a bit dry. (This is a good time to get your pasta into the now-boiling water).
6. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed with more salt or pepper. Then stir through the cooked and drained pasta and enjoy! Serve with fresh basil leaves and an extra drizzle of good olive oil.
I saw these pop up on the fabulous Tabitha Brown’s Instagram months ago and haven’t been able to get them out of my head since. So when we finished a jar of pickles the other day I knew exactly what I was going to make. My yolk recipe is quite different (more of a European version than her American one I guess?) but all credit to @iamtabithabrown for the genius idea. These are such fun little retro canapés or as an Easter starter. Give my version a try and let me know what you think. Liz x
a jar of pickle liquor left after eating the pickled cucumbers
small mushrooms – white is best for the look of the dish but chestnut mushrooms work fine too – enough to fill the jar
Clean the mushrooms with a paper towel or pastry brush. Then pull out the stalks and peel them (like in the picture above). Keep the stalks and peels, do not throw them away! They are great crumbled up and sautéed as a base for a lentil pie or a soup or in tofu scramble.
Put the peeled mushrooms in the jar of leftover pickle juice. Give the jar a gentle shake and put it in the fridge. Every time you open the fridge, turn the jar the other way up so that the mushrooms all get an even soak in the juice. Leave them to soak and lightly pickle overnight.
Then just before you are ready to serve, make the yolky filling. Drain a can of chickpeas (reserve the aquafaba to make mayonnaise or a clafoutis?) and put them in a food processor or blender.
Add the black salt (this tastes like egg, if you don’t have it then regular salt is fine), pepper, turmeric, mayo, tomato puree/ketchup and mustard in the blender too. Then blend until smooth. Taste the mixture and adjust the seasoning if needed. You may need more mayonnaise or salt? The mixture should be thick but pipeable.
Put the mushrooms out onto a platter and put the ‘yolk’ mixture into a piping bag with the star shaped nozzle attached. Pipe a generous amount of the mixture into each mushroom.
Sprinkle the devilled eggs with smoked paprika and dill or whatever you like (chilli powder, tabasco, shopped scallions, parsley, chives, capers…) and enjoy them cold and fresh.