Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Celeriac Gratin

Celeriac, or celery root, tastes like celery but can be cooked like potatoes. This gratin is the ultimate comfort food for chilly spring nights. The recipe makes two casseroles to feed a crowd, but can easily be halved for one dish.

Celeriac Casserole

makes 12-16 servings
  • 1 gigantic celery root, or 2 smallish celery roots
  • 1 lb kale, collards, chard, or other greens
for the sauce
  • 3 T butter
  • 3 T cooking oil
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced (with green top)
  • 6 T flour
  • 1 t salt
  • 2 C vegetable broth
  • ½ C milk
for the streusel
  • 1 C breadcrumbs
  • ¼ C thyme
  • 1 heavy pinch coarse salt
  • 1 t pepper
  • 1 T olive oil
  1. Peel celeriac and divide into 4-6 manageable pieces. Cut into 1/8 inch slices. (A mandolin or V-slicer would be handy.)
  2. Remove any thick stems from greens and finely chop into ¼ inch strips.
  3. Grease two casseroles. Lay down an even layer of celeriac, with the slices slightly overlapping. Top with a light layer of greens - not enough to entirely cover the celeriac. Continue alternating layers of celeriac and greens, ending with celeriac - how many layers depends on the size of your casseroles.
  4. In a wide saucepan or skillet, melt butter with oil over medium heat. Add onions and salt and cook until tender.
  5. Stir in flour. Cook about 3 minutes.
  6. Gradually stir in broth and milk. Bring to a boil, them simmer 5 minutes. Season to taste.
  7. Pour sauce very evenly over casseroles.
  8. Cover and bake in a 300°F oven for 30 minutes.
  9. Combine streusel ingredients and sprinkle over casseroles.
  10. Continue to bake, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until streusel is crispy but not burnt.
  11. Allow to cool at least 10 minutes before serving.


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