Tag Archive for jamie oliver

Roasted Celeriac with Mushroom Gravy

It’s Christmas later this week, and when you don’t eat meat, there’s always a question: what do you eat? What’s the centrepiece of your meal?

Growing up, it was always a turkey or a ham. In my younger days on my own, it was cornish game hen, and one time, a duck.

Over the past years since I’ve stopped eating meat again, I’ve mostly spend Christmas with friends or family, and that’s meant I mostly just eat everything else other than the turkey, and I’m 100% okay with that. This year, however, I’m likely to be eating alone.

Roasted Celeriac with Mushroom Gravy

Of course, you could always try one of the three or four “holiday roast” products available on the market. They’re mostly made of soy or seitan and are usually stuffed with some kind of stuffing so that they look like a turkey breast roulade. My experiences with these have been mostly disappointing (dry), though I’m told the Very Good Butchers do a good one.

So what does that leave? Some kind of centrepiece vegetable. A roasted cauliflower would probably do nicely. But sometime around American Thanksgiving, I was watching Jamie Oliver and he did a whole roasted celeriac.

I was curious. It certainly looks good; it has that showstopping look you want when you’re bringing it to the table.

Though clearly, if you are not a fan of celery, this is not for you.

I set about to try it, and completely veganize it while I was at it (Jamie’s recipe is vegetarian). The mushroom gravy is really, really good, and the roasted celeriac needs it, so don’t skip it. Jamie serves his with pearl barley, but honestly, I might just go a more traditional route and serve it with mashed potatoes or yams.

Be warned–just like your turkey which you have to start three days in advance, this takes time. Not three days, but it’s a big, tough vegetable, and it needs a full two hours in the oven. And like your turkey, your house will smell delicious and Christmassy before it is done.

whole roasted celeriac

Whole Roasted Celeriac with Mushroom Gravy

(recipe adapted from Jamie Oliver)


  • 1 whole celeriac, about 1 kg or a little more
  • fresh thyme
  • 6 bay leaves (fresh if possible)
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp miso paste
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tbsp white wine
  • 1-2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup canned coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • 1 cup chopped greens: kale or spinach


  1. Scrub the celeriac well with a brush to get any dirt out of all the nooks and crannies. Line an 8″ square pan with two overlapping sheets of aluminum foil and place the celeriac in the middle. Rub it all over with olive oil, salt and pepper. Bash up the garlic, and throw it into the foil packet with the thyme and 4 bay leaves. Top the celeriac with the miso paste and more olive oil, then wrap the entire thing up tight. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for two hours. If you like, you can peel back the foil 15 minutes before you take it out of the oven, to get some colour on the top. The sauce/gravy will take about 15 to minutes to make.
  2. Start by chopping the onion and mincing the final two cloves of garlic. Place a large pan over medium heat and heat up a tablespoon or two of olive oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant.
  3. Slice the mushrooms and add them to the pan, adding additional olive oil if needed. Let them cook down about 5 minutes, then deglaze the pan with a little white wine. Add 1 cup of stock, the remaining bay leaves, and reduce the heat to a simmer. Allow the whole thing to reduce for about 5-10 minutes, until thickened.
  4. Now add the coconut milk, the mustard and stir it in, as well as the greens. Allow the whole thing to cook down together for another few minutes, adding additional stock if it gets too thick. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  5. Remove the celeriac from the oven and place it on a pretty plate. Pour the gravy over top and around the celeriac. Slice the celeriac at the table and serve with the mushroom gravy.

Top Cookbooks of 2014

Oh, the irony. Here I am, my blog the anti-cookbook, with a list of my favourite cookbooks from this year.

I can’t help it. Even though I primarily still cook by laptop, I do love a good, old-fashioned, dead-tree cookbook. There were some good ones this year!

Here’s what I look for in a cookbook:

  • #foodporn: Images are so important! I want a cookbook that has drool-worthy images.
  • Vegetarian/Vegan options: I don’t eat much meat, so I’m always looking for cookbooks that at least include vegetarian options.
  • Something new to learn: whether it’s a new recipe, a take on a classic, or a new technique, I always love to learn something new.
  • A good story: food, let’s face it, is about context. Where you ate that amazing brownie is every bit as much part of the story as the ingredients that went into it.

best cookbooks of 2014

Without further ado, then! My picks for the Top Cookbooks of 2014 (*note: these are cookbooks that came across my radar in 2014, or I acquired them this year. They may have been published a little earlier. I don’t own all of these, but the ones I don’t own, I want to).

Butter Baked Goods: Nostalgic Recipes From a Little Neighborhood Bakery: If you don’t follow Butter Baked Goods on Instagram, I highly reccomend you do, for your daily dose of some of the best #foodporn out there. The cookbook is more of the same–the photos are gorgeous and mouth-watering. I got this book months ago, but it remains in the place of honour on my coffee table, because it really is part cookbook, part coffee table book. Read more (including a recipe from the book).

Plenty More: 2014 saw the publication of Yotam Ottolenghi‘s follow up cookbook to PlentyThis is vegetarian cooking at its best. The recipes are beautiful, colourful, and fresh. Everyone I know is talking about this book.

The Oh She Glows Cookbook: Vegan Recipes to Glow from the Inside Out: from one of my favourite vegan blogs, finally, a cookbook! Love it!

Jamie’s Comfort Food: Jamie Oliver is a machine! He pumps out cookbooks and cooking shows, and runs restaurants and generally makes the rest of us look like slackers. But this book–some of the stuff in here–drool. Like his ultimate grilled cheese sandwich, mac ‘n’ cheese, and other comfort food dishes from around the world. And because it’s Jamie Oliver, you know the recipes are going to be simple, accessible, and delicious.

Dirty Apron Cookbook: Recipes, Tips and Tricks for Creating Delicious, Foolproof Dishes: a local success story from one of our local cooking schools. I’ve not had a chance to dig deeply into this one yet, but I can’t wait to make more of the recipes in here. The ones I’ve tried so far have been stellar. Plus the photos… Read more (including a recipe).

The Thug Kitchen Cookbook: yes, there’s a lot of swearing, which, honestly, I find amusing. But if you go beyond that, these are simple, fresh, easy recipes, which happen to be vegan. Read more (including a recipe).

My Paris Kitchen: Recipes and Stories: David Lebovitz is an American living the dream in Paris. I love his writing–every day I live vicariously through him. Isn’t it every foodies’ dream to go and live and Paris? Well, it certainly is mine. Through this book, you can, too.

Delicious! (not a cookbook) by Ruth Reichl. I know a lot of people weren’t crazy about this novel which followed a young protagonist who goes to work for a dying food magazine. I enjoyed it, though. It was a fun read. Maybe something to read over your Christmas vacation? Read my review here.

What were your favourite cookbooks this year? Let me know in the comments section below.