Veg and recipe - warm celeriac and lentil salad

One of the more unusual root vegetables, celeriac has an earthy flavour with a hint of celery and a texture a little like a turnip.  It’s crunchy when raw and perfect for a salad, coleslaw or, as the French do, a remoulade – though this can be time consuming to prepare.  It’s also tasty mashed and roasting brings out its mellow earthy sweetness.  

Roasted celeriac makes a hearty winter salad when combined with chickpeas and lentils.

Preheat the oven to 200°C.  Prepare the celeriac by chopping off the knobbly bits, peeling it and chopping it into 2cm chunks.  Add to a large roasting tin and drizzle with olive oil, adding thyme and a good pinch of salt and pepper tossing the vegetables until evenly coated.  Roast for around 30 minutes, turning halfway until golden tender.

Meantime, prepare your onion by slicing it finely and combine with a chopped garlic clove, two tablespoons of red vinegar and two of olive oil.

Drain and rinse a tin of puy or green lentils, or chickpeas, or both, and tip into a large mixing bowl.  Sprinkle over the cooked celeriac, chopped herbs such as mint or parsley and another glug of olive oil to taste.  Walnuts or roast hazlenuts, chopped apples, crunchy lettuce or chicory and a sprinkling of blue cheese would also go well with this.  Delicious served warm.