In winter a lot of our local quality vegetables come from under the ground such as carrots, swede and turnips.
It is well known that parsnips become sweeter after the first frost and are one of the most versatile vegetables which can be used through all three courses on our menus.
There is however a large bulbous vegetable that tends to get overlooked and just happens to be in prime condition in late January and February.
Its celeriac with its knobbly, often muddy exterior with a beautiful creamy flesh tasting of mild celery with parsley undertones and a little nuttiness.
Grated raw and mixed with mustard and mayonnaise to create a remoulade, it adds a crunch to cold meats.
I slice it thinly and create a gateaux along with other root vegetables for a vegetarian dish.
It also makes a heavenly purée to compliment smoked haddock for a quick and easy supper.
You can grate this vegetable, add it to grated potato and fry it in clarified butter to make a fantastic rosti.
As you can see there are many ways of introducing this odd-bod ingredient to your diet.
However, if you are still unsure, then why not try this celeriac and apple soup to see if you like the flavour.
What about putting it in a Thermos flask and have it for lunch with a cheese scone and be the envy of your work friends.
To find out more about Lawrence’s restaurant Fat Olives, visit fatolives.co.uk or call 01243 377914.
CELERIAC AND APPLE SOUP
Ingredients (serves 4)
350g celeriac peeled and roughly cut into 1cm cubes.
200g Bramley apple peeled and cubed.
1 small leek finely chopped.
1 onion finely chopped.
Butter for cooking.
Salt and pepper.
1. Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the onion, leek and a pinch of salt and allow to cook for five minutes without colouring.
2. Add the celeriac and apple and continue to cook for five minutes.
3. Add the milk and cream and bring to the boil.
4. Reduce the heat and cook for 15 minutes until the vegetables are soft.
5. Put the soup in a liquidiser and process for two minutes.
6. Return to a saucepan and season.