Salt-baked celeriac with pickled celery, toasted hazelnut and truffle beurre blanc

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Matt Whitfield serves celeriac three ways in this celebration of the root vegetable; salt-baked, pickled and as a rich, buttery purée. The pretty vegetarian starter is finished with toasted hazelnuts, pickled celery and a rich truffle beurre blanc sauce.

First published in 2022




Roast celeriac

Pickles and puree

Truffle beurre blanc

  • 125g of butter, chilled and cubed
  • truffle oil to taste
  • salt to taste

To serve


  • Blender
  • Squeezy bottle



Begin by roasting the celeriac. Preheat an oven to 180ºC/gas mark 4


Peel the large celeriac and wrap in foil with a drizzle of rapeseed oil and a good sprinkling of coarse salt. Bake in the oven for 1 hour or until cooked through. Leave to cool, then cut into 8 2cm-thick slices and use a ring cutter to create neat discs. Set aside until ready to reheat


While the first celeriac bakes, peel the second celeriac and cut into quarters. Take one quarter and dice into 7mm cubes, reserving any trim for the pureé. Make a pickle liquor by placing the sugar, vinegar and water in a pan with a pinch of salt and heating until the sugar dissolves. Leave to cool then add the celeriac cubes and leave to pickle for 1 hour


Roughly chop the remaining celeriac. Melt the butter in a large pan and add the chopped celeriac along with the trimmings from the pickle. Cook until the celeriac is caramelised and soft; this will take at least 20 minutes. Once soft, add the cream and warm through. Transfer to a blender and blitz to a smooth pureé. Taste and season with salt then transfer to a squeezy bottle


Peel and finely slice the celery, then add this to the pickling liquor with the celeriac cubes


To make the sauce, place 2 tablespoons of the pickling liquid into a small pan and reduce until almost entirely evaporated. Add the chilled butter piece by piece whilst continuously whisking until you have a thick glossy sauce. Season with salt and truffle oil to taste

  • 125g of butter, chilled and cubed
  • truffle oil to taste
  • salt to taste

To assemble the dish, reheat the discs of celeriac for a few minutes in a hot oven, then place them in the centre of each bowl or serving dish. Arrange the pickled celeriac and celery on top. Dot the pureé around and in the centre, then finish with the hazelnut pieces and rocket cress. Pour the warm sauce around the outside

Following a year spent honing his skills at the legendary Eleven Madison Park in New York, in 2019 Matt Whitfield returned to the UK to take over as head chef at The Terrace at The Montagu Arms. He’s since taken up the position of executive chef at Kimbridge Barn near Romsey, where he serves a variety of different types of food.

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