RORY O’CON­NELL

Cele­riac fritters

Irish Daily Mail - YOU - - BOOKS -

Cele­riac, or root cel­ery, as it is some­times called, is a ter­rific veg­etable. It makes a marvel­lous soup, is great roasted or as a purée and is the es­sen­tial in­gre­di­ent in the clas­sic re­moulade, in which case it is eaten raw. The flavour of cele­riac is milder and sweeter than the green cel­ery we are more fa­mil­iar with. These crisp fritters are served here as a main course but would also be very good as a starter, in which case the recipe would serve eight peo­ple. I use pep­pery water­cress sprigs and radic­chio leaves here, but you could sub­sti­tute a mix­ture of leaves.

MAKES 4 Sun­flower oil, for deep fry­ing 120g cele­riac (weight af­ter peel­ing), peeled and cut into fine juli­enne, like long match­sticks 12 water­cress sprigs 12 radic­chio leaves 1 ripe pear, cut in quar­ters length­ways, cored and thinly sliced 16 wal­nut halves 4 gen­er­ous tea­spoons home­made may­on­naise 28 ca­pers

BAT­TER 140g plain flour Pinch of salt 1½ ta­ble­spoons ex­tra vir­gin olive oil 100ml wa­ter 1 large egg white, beaten un­til quite stiff

DRESS­ING 6 ta­ble­spoons ex­tra vir­gin olive oil 2 ta­ble­spoons le­mon juice ½ tea­spoon honey Sea salt and freshly ground black pep­per

1 Make the bat­ter for fry­ing the fritters first. Place the flour and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Add the olive oil and whisk in enough wa­ter to form a smooth bat­ter the con­sis­tency of thick cream. Chill for 30 min­utes, then fold in the stiffly beaten egg white.

2. Whisk all the dress­ing in­gre­di­ents to­gether. Taste and cor­rect the sea­son­ing.

3. When ready to cook the fritters, heat 10cm of sun­flower oil in a heavy-bot­tomed cast iron or stain­less steel saucepan un­til it reaches 180°C, or if you have a deep fat fryer, that will work per­fectly.

4. Mix the cele­riac through the bat­ter. Gently drop four large spoon­fuls of the mix­ture into the hot oil and cook un­til crisp and golden brown on both sides, which should take about 10 min­utes in to­tal. Re­move from the oil, drain on kitchen pa­per and keep warm in a low oven. They will re­main crisp for 20 min­utes or so.

5. To serve, place the salad leaves, sliced pear and walnuts in a large bowl and dress with the well-mixed dress­ing. Di­vide be­tween four plates and place a frit­ter on top of each salad. Drop 1 tea­spoon of may­on­naise on top of the fritters and scat­ter on the ca­pers. Add a few grains of sea salt and serve im­me­di­ately.

Rory O’Con­nell’s CELE­RIAC FRITTERS

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