While I'm not intimidated by funky looking vegetables, I admit to not always being the most adventurous produce shopper. While my kids are both enthusiastic greens eaters (Ella actually asks for Brussels sprouts and Jack can put away a shocking number of fresh-off-the-vine cherry tomatoes), they're not the most intrepid when it comes to trying new things. But if they're never exposed to unfamiliar ("weird looking" in kidspeak) veg because I don't want to listen to the chorus of "what is that?" or "you're not actually going to make me try that, are you?" then their palates will never evolve. That's what I
Truth be told, I have another reason for trying celeriac: I don't want to grow celery. Celery has the reputation for being fussy -- hard to start from seed, a gluttonous feeder and a voracious drinker -- and while it's easy to grow bitter, stringy celery, growing tasty celery (I'm told) is much trickier.
I'm not up for growing ornery vegetables this year, so I thought about trying celeriac instead. Even though it doesn't replace celery entirely, unlike its greener cousin, it's much easier to grow and it stores well.
While it looks tough on the outside, I simply topped and tailed it, then used a paring knife to remove the skin, which is thicker than a potato but more forgiving than a rutabaga.
While this could be a side dish on its own, I'm going to try cream of celeriac soup next.
And while celeriac will never take home any prizes for perfect-looking produce, I think I'll include a few plants in this year's garden. For as Ashley Miller writes in her article from the October 2000 issue of Kitchen Gardener Magazine on "How to Grow Celeriac" ugly is only skin deep.