Simplicity of cooking starts by reading a recipe. I tried to find out how my ‘love for a recipe’ starts : with the list of ingredients, the length of the description, the picture, my available time, …. I don’t know for sure, but probably a good mixture of all that. Certain people stop reading if the ingredient list is too long, which is a pity. A lot of different ingredients, especially spices, can create more depth, more richness in flavor but, even if you can’t find everything, you can still prepare an awesome dish.
Ottolenghi’s last book, Flavour, is full of inspiration for vegetable lovers. Although I have lots of spices and I have probably more available time to cook, I still prefer to simplify recipes, especially in elaboration time and cooking time. Above all internet helps you to understand what kind of flavor exotic ingredients offer and how to find alternatives ( or just skip it).
Celeriac is one of those fabulous ingredients which we often know in cold salad or in combination with a traditional bechamel sauce. It’s super cheap and healthy. The earthy-nutty-sweet flavor is at its best when roasted. Ottolenghi describes 3 different ways to use roasted celeriac. He starts by roasting a whole celery for 2,5h, which I find a lot if you cook for 2p. So, I simplify the celeriac steaks with Café de Paris sauce in my version.
Slice 1 smaller celeriac in 6 slices. Spread some olive oil, pepper and salt. Put the slices on baking paper on an oven tray. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes. Turn halfway and brush some honey on each side for extra sweetness.
Heat a sauce pan. Melt 40 grams of butter. Bake 4 chopped garlic cloves, 1 chopped small onion and 3 anchovies. Add 1 teaspoon of curry powder, 1 teaspoon of dijon mustard. Bake and stir. Add 100 ml of low fat cream and 2-4 tablespoons of lemon juice. Allow to simmer at very low heat. Taste, add pepper and salt. Finish with a few table spoons of fresh chopped chives. Serve the steaks with ovenbaked mixed sweet potatoes and normal potatoes, a green salad and a mixture of readymade mayonnaise with some curry powder and lemon juice.