Ingredients (4 servings) as part of a mezze selection:

  • 1 celeriac, roots removed and brushed off
  • 40ml olive oil
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt flakes

for the pickled celeriac:

  • 2 celery stalks, halved and cut into fine strips
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed with the blade of a knife
  • 1 lemon, 3 strips of peel cut off and the juice of 1/2 fruit
  • 4 tablespoons rice vinegar

for the sweet spicy sesame dressing:

  • 40ml olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
  • 1/2 chili pepper, finely sliced
  • 1/2 tsp aniseed, ground
  • 1 tbsp white sesame seeds, toasted in a pan
  • 1 tbsp black sesame seeds, toasted in a pan
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp chive rolls, dried
  • 1 tbsp parsley, dried

for garnish:

  • 1/2 spring onion, cut int thin rings
  • 10g basil leaves

  1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC top/bottom heat.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the olive oil with the salt. Place the celeriac on a baking tray lined with baking paper and brush all sides with the oil.
  3. Bake the celeriac in the preheated oven for at least 2 – 2 3/4 hours, depending on its size. While doing this, brush the celery with oil again every 20 minutes until it is dark brown and a kind of caramel comes out. Check with a fork to see if the celery is soft.
  4. Cut the baked celery in half.
  5. To make the pickled celery, cut 1/2 baked celery into 6-8 wedges and cut them in half if necessary. Combine with all the ingredients for the pickled celery in a large bowl and let stand for 20-30 minutes. Keep stirring through.
  6. Cut the other half of the pickled celery into 6-8 wedges as well and place cut side down on a fresh baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush with the oil and caramel from the previous tray on both cut sides and bake in the oven again for about 20 minutes until it has a golden brown crust.
  7. While the celery is in the oven, prepare the sesame dressing. To do this, heat olive oil, garlic, chili and anise in a small saucepan until garlic is light brown. Remove from heat and drain garlic and chili and set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients (sesame seeds, herbs, maple syrup, rice vinegar). Add the anise oil and mix well.
  8. Once the celery is done baking in the oven, arrange it on a large platter. Add the pickled celery with all the pickled aromatics and drizzle with the sesame dressing.
  9. Finally garnish with the fried aromatics (garlic, chili), green onion and basil leaves. Serve immediately.