At first, this recipe was destined to be a blood orange recipe but the blood oranges I bought let me down by turning out to be pretty regular oranges with little speckles of red in between. Fortunately, they tasted very similar to blood oranges so instead of succumbing to failure, I decided to go ahead and use them for this recipe and I'm really glad I did.
To put it briefly, this is a delicious, easy, mediterranean inspired and plant-based vegetable dish cooked in orange juice, olive oil and a little bit of lemon juice to balance out the sweetness coming from the orange juice and the carrots. So if you’re interested in a unique, healthy, citrusy, sweet, sour and savoury vegetable dish, you're in the right place.
When I was a kid, my mom made a dish similar to this to get me to eat celery root, hoping I wouldn’t notice it once it was mixed with potatoes. Sadly, it didn’t take long for me to notice there was a difference in texture and a bigger difference in taste. As I grew older, I actually started liking celery root and this recipe is my take on a dish that I truly hated as a child.
By applying the same cooking technique I use for every other Turkish olive oil based dish and making some small changes, I feel like this is one of the best and most delicious ways to cook celery root, a root vegetable that can otherwise taste a little overpowering if you don't necessarily like it to begin with.
Being olive oil based, this dish will taste amazing when it’s cold and will keep fresh for a solid 3 days in the fridge which makes it a great option for meal prepping. I prefer serving this dish with some white or brown rice or a good toasted (maybe even a little burnt) sourdough bread. You can serve this as a main or a side dish, as it will compliment any roasted white meat or fish like salmon or sea bass beautifully.
Tips and Tricks:
Celery root is a tough vegetable to work with especially because it's messy to peel and once it's peeled, it darkens very quickly. That's why you want to prepare your celery root last, but if you like doing your prep before you start cooking, I recommend preparing a bowl full of cold water, squeezing a little lemon juice in and placing your diced celery root in that bowl until you need to use them. You can also cut a lemon in half and rub the peeled celery root with it but this will result in the celery becoming slippery so it will make it a lot harder to stabilise and cut.
I chopped the veggies in a certain shape (half moons and large dices) for this recipe because I thought it looked more aesthetically pleasing. You can chop your veggies however you like, making smaller or larger cubes or other shapes but make sure the potatoes and the celery have a similar size and thickness to ensure even cooking.
Make sure your carrots have softened before you put in the potatoes and celery root. Carrots take a long time to cook and they won't have the right consistency if you don't sauté them beforehand with the onions.
I used blood oranges that weren't very bloody in colour but the taste was there. You can use blood oranges or regular oranges for the recipe. For regular oranges, add 1/2 tsp of brown sugar.
PREP TIME: 20 MIN
COOK TIME: 30 MIN
TOTAL TIME: 50 MIN
3 tbsp of olive oil
1 red onion, diced
2 small carrots, cut in half moons
1 large potato, sliced crosswise and cut in large half moons
1 orange, sliced crosswise
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 celery root, peeled, largely diced
Juice of 1 orange
Juice of half a lemon
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
A handful of fresh dill
1. Start by prepping your vegetables, peel and dice your onion, carrots and potato. Place the potato in a bowl filled with water. Slice the orange, peel and crush your garlic and set aside.
2. Peel and cut the celery root and juice the orange and half a lemon and set aside.
3. In a large and preferably wide pot, heat 3 tbsp of olive oil, add the onions and carrots and sauté them until the onions are translucent and carrots have softened, for about 4 minutes.
4. Drain the potatoes and add them to the pot along with the celery root.
5. Pour the orange-lemon juice mix in, add the seasoning and give everything a stir.
6. Lastly, place the garlic cloves on top and cover the pot with a lid, letting it simmer for about 20 minutes in medium heat.
7. You can remove the lid and check whether it's done after the first 15 minutes by inspecting the potatoes. If the potatoes are done, your dish is ready.
8. Remove the pot from the heat and garnish it with a handful of freshly chopped dill.