September 2, 2020

Roasted & Pickled Celery Root With Sweet Chile Dressing

Recipe: Yotam Ottolenghi & Ixta Belfrage

Try this Roasted & Pickled Celery Root With Sweet Chile Dressing recipe from the new cookbook, Ottolenghi Flavor.

This dish features celery root in two very different guises — slow-roasted and pickled — giving it textural contrast and flavor complexity that enables it to take center stage in a three-course meal. You can make the dressing a day ahead, but don’t mix in the fried chile and garlic until you’re ready to serve. You’ll make more pickle than you need, but it keeps in the fridge for 3 days and is great stuffed into sandwiches or tossed in a salad. If you don’t want to pickle a whole celery root, use just halve and roast the other half, instead.


Pickled Celery Root

  • 1 medium celery root, trimmed, peeled, and cut into thin 2 ½-inch/6 cm-long batons (4 cups/500 g)
  • 3 celery stalks, cut into thin 2 ½-inch/6 cm-long batons (1 cup/120 g)
  • 2 garlic cloves, skin on, crushed with the side of a knife
  • 3 limes: finely shave the peel to get 6 strips, then juice to get ¼ cup/60 mL
  • ½ cup plus 2 tbsp/150 mL rice vinegar
  • 1 ½ tsp flaked sea salt

Sweet Chile Dressing

  • ½ cup/120 mL sunflower oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, very finely sliced
  • 3 red chiles, finely sliced into rounds (1⁄3 cup/30 g)
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 4 ½ tsp white or black sesame seeds, or a mixture of both, well toasted
  • 7 ½ tsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup/60 mL soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped chives

Roasted Celery Root

  • 1 whole roasted celery root, cut into 8 wedges
  • Flaked sea salt
  • 2 green onions, finely sliced at an angle
  • ¼ cup/5 g Thai basil leaves


Yield: Serves 2 as a main, 4 as a side

Pickle Celery Root

  1. In a large bowl, combine the celery root batons, celery, garlic, lime peel, lime juice, vinegar and salt, and set aside for 2 hours, stirring now and then.

Make Dressing

  1. Heat the sunflower oil in a small saucepan on medium-high heat. Once very hot, add the garlic, chiles and star anise and fry for 2 to 2 ½ minutes, stirring to separate the garlic slices, until the garlic is crisp and pale golden (it will continue to color after you take it out of the oil, so don’t take it too far). Strain through a sieve set on top of a small heatproof bowl to collect the oil. Set the fried chile and garlic aside. Remove ⅓ cup/80 mL of the aromatic oil and reserve for another recipe. Combine 7 ½ tsp of the remaining aromatic oil with the sesame seeds, maple syrup, vinegar, soy sauce and chives, and stir to mix.

Prepare Dish

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F/200°C fan. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place the roasted celery root wedges on the prepared baking sheet, cut-side up. Make sure they’ve been brushed with their cooking oil and caramel (if not, brush with some olive oil and a little maple syrup or honey). Roast for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
  3. Arrange the wedges on a large platter and sprinkle with a little salt.
  4. Add the reserved fried chile and garlic to the dressing and spoon over and around the celery root. Top with 1 ⅓ cups/200 g of the pickled celery root mixture (avoiding the pickling liquid). Garnish with the green onions and Thai basil, and serve immediately.

Excerpted from Ottolenghi Flavor by Yotam Ottolenghi and Ixta Belfrage. Text copyright © 2020 Yotam Ottolenghi and Ixta Belfrage. Photographs copyright © 2020 by Jonathan Lovekin, except page 211 @ Louise Hagger. Illustrations copyright © 2020 by Nishant Choksi. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.