Smoky celeriac steaks with pesto
For the celeriac
1 celeriac (about 800g), sliced into 2cm rounds
1 teaspoon Pure Sea Salt
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Pure Sea Salt Smoked Over Oak
For the pesto
40g pine nuts
80g basil or mint
50g parmesan or vegetarian alternative
150ml good olive oil
2-3 garlic cloves
Celeriac is so underrated but incredibly versatile and really deserves a better reputation; it’s incredible raw in remoulade; blitzed into soups; roasted or grilled in these rounds.
Use a potato peeler to peel the skin from each round of celeriac and discard. Fill a large saucepan with 2 litres of water and bring to the boil. Stir in the pure sea salt and lower the celeriac rounds into the boiling water. Boil, in batches if the water doesn’t cover every slice, for 6 minutes. Drain in a colander and allow the steam to evaporate for a few minutes. Pat each round dry on kitchen paper.
Heat a griddle pan over a high heat on the hob for 5 minutes until smoking hot. Griddle the celeriac rounds, in batches so there is no overlap, for 5 minutes each side without moving the slices as they cook. This will help to form the characteristic grill marks on the slices. The rounds are done when they are soft to the point of a knife throughout. Toss the celeriac in a deep roasting tray with the oil, vinegar and smoked salt and cover with tin foil. Keep warm in a low oven while you make the pesto.
Place all of the pesto ingredients in a food processor and pulse until a chunky paste forms. Taste and adjust the seasoning according to your preference adding a pinch of salt, lemon or oil if you think it needs it.
Serve the celeriac rounds with a drizzle of pesto and some cooked rice or chunky bread for a more substantial meal.
IMAGE + RECIPE: Anna Shepherd