Finding Your Roots: Maple-Roasted Celeriac

Finding Your Roots:
Maple-Roasted Celeriac

This lesson’s dish is a vegan recipe. It is made up of maple-roasted celeriac, trumpet royale mushrooms, peas, carrots, and pearl onions. The preparation work involves a variety of techniques, including boiling, blending, sautéing, and oven roasting.

Maple-Roasted Celeriac, Trumpet Royale Mushroom, Peas, Carrots, and Pearl Onions

Cooking the Celeriac
Start with the celeriac, or celery root. Clean it very well, soak it in water, trim its roots, and then peel it. The remaining piece should be fairly smooth, and the root system should be completely gone. Remove any remaining points. Use a knife to shave one end of it to give it a base to stand on.

Put the celeriac in a small pan and add enough vegetable stock to cover the bottom of the pan. Top with salt, pepper, and maple syrup. Place it in an oven for 350 degrees for 90 minutes. Check it every 15–20 minutes. Baste it when you check.

Cooking the Onions
This recipe calls for agridoce onions. The term agridoce means “sweet and sour.” Peel your pearl onions and cut them in half. Line a tray with parchment paper and coat it with sugar. Add salt and balsamic to the tray. Place each onion cut-‑side down into the mixture. Slide them down to make sure they are all covered. Place the tray in the same oven as the celeriac and cook for 12 minutes.

Cooking the Baby Carrots
Next up are the baby carrots. Use a paring knife and a peeler to clean, trim, and peel the carrots. Once that is done, select the smallest carrot as a model. Cut the bigger carrots down to match its size.

The next step is to sauté the carrots. Heat grapeseed oil in a medium-‑sized pan. Once the oil develops a shimmer, add the carrots to the pan. Give the pan a toss to coat the carrots in oil. Then, put the pan in the same oven as the celeriac and onions. Cook the carrots for 15–20 minutes at 350 degrees.

At this point, you can also check on the onions. Look for the outer shells to begin softening up. Also make sure the mixture hasn’t reduced too much; if it has, add more balsamic. Check the onions once more in four minutes.

Making the Pea Puree
The next phase involves beginning the pea puree. Boil a pot of salted water. If you are using frozen peas, cook them in the water for about 30 seconds. If you are using raw peas, cook them for about a minute. Next, put the peas in a blender. Add vegetable stock. Blend the peas and add more vegetable stock if necessary. Also add a bit of oil to make the mixture smooth and creamy.

Pause the blender and check the seasoning while it is still in the blender. Add more salt and pepper if necessary. Also add a small amount of lemon juice. Resume blending for a short time, and then check the seasoning again. If the mixture is ready, put it in a small pot and set it aside.

Next Steps for the Celeriac, Carrots, and Onions
Check on the vegetables in the oven. Take the carrots out, toss the carrots, and put them back in the oven. Remove the celeriac and the pearl onions.

Move the celeriac to one end of its pan and baste it. Add a sprig of thyme. Put the celeriac back in the oven.

Flip all of the onions over. Put more balsamic on them as well as a touch of salt. Put the onions back in the oven. At this point, the onions should have roughly 4 minutes left, and the carrots should have roughly 10 minutes left. The celeriac should be getting close to ready.

Preparing the Mushroom
The next step is to prepare a trumpet royale mushroom. Remove the fibrous bottom and cut the mushroom into even pieces. Scores the tops with a knife. Heat a small amount of oil in a small pan. Once the oil is hot, put the mushrooms in. Give the mushrooms some movement, and then season immediately with salt and pepper. When they are golden brown on one side, flip them over. You can also baste to speed up the process. They should be ready to flip after roughly 90 seconds. At that point, flip them, add more oil to the pan, and baste the tops. Place the mushrooms in the oven and remove the onions if they are ready. Let the onions sit at room temperature.

Finishing Steps and Plating
Check on the celeriac. The maple syrup and the stock should have reduced down almost completely. Test the celeriac with a fork or knife. Push to the center; it should be soft all the way through. If the utensil encounters resistance, the celeriac has not cooked all the way. If the celeriac is ready, let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes.

When you are ready to cut the celeriac, put on gloves. The maple syrup may be very hot, even if it has been sitting for a few minutes. Using a knife, you can break the celeriac down into any size that you want. Try to make the pieces all the same thickness.

Take the remaining liquid from the pan and heat it up. Add vegetable stock if needed to help it dissolve. Season the celeriac with salt and pepper. Pour the liquid from the pan over the celeriac. Place it back in the oven to produce a glaze on the celeriac. Heat the pea puree back up.

Plate the pea puree off to one side of the plate. Put the mushrooms on top of that, followed by the sliced celeriac. After that, add the carrots, then the onions. Season the dish with a small amount of nutritional yeast, espelette, and chervil. Add a small amount of olive oil to the plate. Balance the oil out with a small amount of balsamic.

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