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This celeriac, carrot and pearl barley bake is delicious comfort food, but under 300 calories.
This dish is like a British version of risotto. It's just as warming and cosy, with delicious rooty vegetable flavours infused into the pearly barley as it cooks. Happily though, it's a lot easier to make than a risotto. There is no standing over a hot hob endlessly stirring - just whack it in the oven. Celeriac is our favourite winter root vegetable. It has a nutty, delicate flavour, reminiscent of celery but sweeter and tastier. It's criminally underused in the UK - possibly because it looks so ugly: but don't judge a vegetable by its appearance.
- 1 medium celeriac weighing about 700g (nearly 1½lb)
- 300g (10oz) Chantenay carrots
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
- 600ml (1 pint) hot vegetable stock
- 150g (5oz) pearl barley
- 150ml (¼ pint) dry white wine or stock or water
- 1 tbsp wholegrain honey mustard
- Fresh, torn parsley leaves
- Set the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6. Peel the celeriac. It will then weigh about 500g (1lb). Quarter it and cut the pieces into thin slices. Scrub and trim carrots and slice them thinly, lengthways.
- Mix the veg in a large roasting tin, or ovenproof dish, with the oil and garlic. Pour over half the stock, then cover dish tightly with foil. Bake for 30 mins.
- Take off foil, stir vegetables, then stir in the barley, wine and rest of the stock, put back in oven, uncovered, for 40 mins or until veg is tender. Stir in the mustard. Scatter with parsley for serving. Serve on its own or with roast or grilled meat or fish.
Top tips for making celeriac, carrot and pearl barley bake
Celeriac is very versatile. First, you need to peel it, most of which can be done with a potato peeler, but you will need to chop off any of the hairy, rooty bits around the bottom with a knife. If you're halving the celeriac and keeping the rest for use later, rub a little lemon juice over the cut side to stop it browning.
It can be eaten raw, very finely sliced or grated, in salads and coleslaws. Use it here like you would use carrots. It's good for steaming, sautéing or roasting, similar to butternut squash. It's also good mashed or puréed, with a little butter, cream or low fat yoghurt. Mash it on its own, or mixed with potatoes or swede. It's a good topping on cottage pies, for example. Finally you can use it in gratins or stews, used as you would use potatoes.
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Jessica Dady is Senior Content Editor at Goodto.com and has over 10 years of experience as a digital journalist, specialising in all things food, recipes, and SEO. From the best food hampers to cookbooks, from the best cake stands to baking sets, Jessica has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to must-have food products. A passionate baker, she spends much of her time creating celebration cakes for friends and family - particularly for her two lucky children.
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