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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Late Season Celeriac

A few days ago, I put a big pot of chicken soup on the stove.. as the stock was cooking, I ran up to the garden to pick some parsley, celery, carrots and leeks.. I also took some onions and potatoes from storage.. I used these to both flavour the stock and in the soup itself..

As I was wandering the garden, I remembered that I still had about six celeriac plants left in the garden - a late season treasure! I picked the smallest one to add to the soup - at this time of the year, the celery is a bit pithy, but the celeriac is still tender, fragrant and delicious.

Here are a few photos of my little celeriac - cut at the top so you can see the interior colour and turned upsidedown, so you can see the gnarled shape and root stubs (I trimmed them before the photo - celeriac has a very dense and large roots system).

Celeriac is very easy to grow and has a mild, celery flavour that is nice raw, stir-fried, cooked in soups and stews, or mashed with Yukon Gold potatoes (and a dash of cream).. mmmmm..

Because the cold weather is finally predicated to settle in tomorrow, I will toss a big bag of shredded fall leaves on top of the remaining celeriac today and cover with a row cover - to prevent the leaves from blowing away. This will extend the season by about 6 weeks (Merry Christmas!).. During the growing season, the celeriac leaves grow quite tall - about 2-feet, but now, they've all flopped down, making the leaf layer easy to apply. I aim for a 1-foot deep layer of leaves to protect the large bulbs (usually about 6 to 7-inches in diameter).

Sometimes at the base of the mature celeriac, there is a small sprout growing next to the bulb.. These are ideal for the winter windowsill.. just dig up the sprout, separating it gently from the bulb and pot up. Use the sprigs to add a mild celery flavour to your winter cooking..

Happy Gardening!




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