I played a lot of video games as a child. Most gamers will recognize the concept of a ‘boss level.’ This is the most difficult part of a game that represents a peak challenge that you have to go through to unlock further challenges or finish a game.
When it comes to eating locally, April is the boss level of the entire year. It’s the month that sucks you in – the gentle warmth which tugs at your zipper also tricks your head into falsely believing that there must be a local bounty at hand. There isn’t.
This is the month, more than any other, that I rely on our preserves to get us through. We also look at ways to change-up the ingredients that we do have access to. This year is tougher than the last few as we haven’t had a lot of squash and have been eating a lot of potatoes, onions and the like (I should also note that we aren’t 100% local though the majority of our home meals are out of convenience).
We have had more celeriac (celery root) than in past years. It’s one of my favorite things to dehydrate and it’s a fun flavor to cook with as well. One of my favorite ways to prepare it is to make a simple puree. You can see a sample hidden underneath this lake trout (it’s the white stuff):
- 1 large celeriac
- butter (2-3 tablespoons)
- A few tablespoons of heavy cream (milk or veggie stock will do but cream gives the best results)
- Dijon mustard to taste (be conservative and start with a teaspoon)
- Peel the celery root. I do this by cutting it into large sections and use the best vegetable peeler in the world to peel it.
- Cube the root into cubes – they should be approximately the same size.
- You can boil or roast it (add a bit of oil if roasting). I find boiling to be the easiest. Simply add the cubes to lots of boiling water and cook until the pieces are extremely tender.
- Drain the veggies well.
- Add the other ingredients as you puree the veg – I use a stick blender for best results but you could use a masher as well.
These are a great alternative to potatoes and a lovely side dish with a late winter meal, such as the lake trout above (recipe for it tomorrow).