"Like all great food marriages, this was a dish created by accident… one of top chef Ross Lusted's (The Bridge Room) kitchen brigade burning celeriac and realising that a more complex earthy flavour was unleashed in the process, a perfect match with the ‘black diamonds’ of the earth - truffles. Baking the celeriac in a salt crust concentrates the flavour; the thinly sliced celeriac discs cooked in their own juice have the delicate silky texture of a fine sheet of pasta…and with generous shavings of truffle, these two earthy ingredients reach great heights." Maeve O'Meara, Food Safari Earth
Baking the celeriac in a salt crust concentrates the flavour and with generous shavings of truffle, earthy flavours reach new heights.
- 1 black truffle, about 75 g
- 200 g plain flour
- 200 g sea salt
- 2 egg whites, lightly beaten with equal parts water
- olive oil, for drizzling
Burnt celeriac purée
- 1 celeriac, peeled (about 250 g)
- 50 ml olive oil
- 50 g golden French shallot, finely sliced
- 1 garlic clove, finely sliced
- 200 ml verjuice
- 100 g unsalted butter
- 1 celeriac, peeled
- 30 g unsalted butter
- juice of ½ lemon
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Standing time: 1.5 hours
For the salt-baked celeriac, mix the salt and flour together in a large bowl. Gradually add the egg white mixture to form a workable dough. Knead briefly, then cover in plastic wrap and rest for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, for the burnt celeriac purée, preheat a charcoal grill to high. Peel the celeriac and cut into 5 mm-thick slices. Place in a bowl with 1 tablespoon oil and toss to coat well. Chargrill the celeriac slices until completely charred on both sides. Remove from the grill and cut into small pieces.
Heat the remaining oil in a saucepan over low heat. Add the shallot and garlic and cook for a few minutes or until lightly coloured. Add the burnt celeriac and verjuice and simmer until the verjuice has nearly evaporated. Add just enough water to cover and half the butter. Cover with a cartouche and simmer over very low heat for 20-30 minutes or until the celeriac is completely soft.
Strain off the cooking liquid and reserve. Place the cooked celeriac pulp in a blender and blend to a very fine purée, slowly adding the remaining butter as you go. If necessary, add a little of the reserved cooking liquid to help with the blending. Pass the purée through a fine sieve and season to taste. Keep in a warm place until ready to serve.
Preheat a covered charcoal barbecue to 350°C. Lightly flour a work bench and rolling pin, then roll out the salt dough into a 3 mm-thick round. Place the unpeeled celeriac in the centre. Gently encase the celeriac in the dough, leaving the green tops exposed. Drizzle a little oil into a cast iron pan, add the salt-crust celeriac, then cover the barbecue and cook for 1 hour or until a knife inserts easily. Remove the celeriac from the barbecue and set aside.
For the celeriac discs, peel the celeriac and reserve the trimmings and green tops. Juice the trimmings and green tops through a juicer, then reserve 100 ml of the juice. Use a mandolin to cut the celeriac into very thin discs. Heat the celeriac juice in a saucepan over medium heat, then add the butter and lemon juice. Season to taste and add the celeriac discs. Cook for 3 minutes or until soft, then remove from the heat and grate in a little of the truffle.
To serve, break open the salt-baked celeriac and remove. Cut 6 wedges of the celeriac and remove the skin. Place in the centre of warmed serving bowls. Top with the celeriac cooked in juice and place a good spoonful of burnt celeriac purée on the side. Pour over any remaining juices, then shave over the truffle and serve immediately.