The inspiration for a new dish can come from anywhere. In this case, I liked the sound of “hasselback celeriac” so much that I had to create a reci
The inspiration for a new dish can come from anywhere. In this case, I liked the sound of “hasselback celeriac” so much that I had to create a recipe just for the name. But now I am not sure I’ll ever be able to eat this root in any other way. Cutting deep fans into the celeriac means there’s more surface area to roast and to spread miso over, creating richer and deeper flavours, while the tops catch in the heat and crisp to a satisfying crunch. I have the brilliant Middle Eastern restaurant Bubala to thank for the special idea of combining celeriac, miso and tahini, and London’s many Turkish ocakbaşis for the sprightly pomegranate and onion salad.
Hasselback celeriac with miso and red onion
Prep 10 min
Cook 2 hr
For the celeriac
1 large or 2 small celeriac, about 1-1.2kg in total
3-4 tbsp olive oil
1 pinch salt
For the miso glaze
80g white miso – I like the Tideford Organics one
½ tbsp aleppo pepper
2½ tbsp brown rice syrup
1½ tbsp lemon juice
For the tahini sauce
1 tbsp lemon juice
½ tsp salt
For the salad
1 red onion, peeled and cut into thin half-moons
1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp sumac
3 tbsp olive oil
¼ tsp salt
1 large handful roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
Naan or flatbreads
Heat the oven to 200C (180C fan)/390F/gas 6. Chop the base off the celeriac, peel off the skin using a peeler and use the tip of a knife to hoick out any unsightly muddy crevices. If the celeriac is large, cut it in half (if not, leave it whole), then, using a sharp knife, cut from top to bottom all over at ½cm intervals down to 2cm from the base, then stop cutting.
Drizzle oil between the folds, rub more oil all over the top, and sprinkle with a tiny pinch of salt. Place on a nonstick tray, roast for 45 minutes, remove and, if need be, baste with a little more oil. Return to the oven and roast for another 45 minutes, until golden.
While the celeriac is cooking, make the miso glaze, tahini sauce and onion salad. Mix all the ingredients for the glaze in a small bowl and set to one side.
Put all the ingredients for the tahini sauce in a small serving bowl, whisk with five tablespoons of water and set to one side.
Combine all the salad ingredients in a serving bowl, scrunch together with your hands, to wilt the onions a little, and set to one side.
Once the celeriac is done, remove, carefully brush all over with the glaze – you want it to stay on the celeriac, not slip off – making sure it gets between the slits, then bake for a further 15 minutes, checking halfway through and possibly basting again with more glaze.
To serve, take the whole celeriac, pomegranate salad, tahini sauce and bread to the table, and encourage people to assemble it themselves with a smoosh of tahini on some bread, followed by a few slices of celeriac and a small tangle of pomegranate onions.